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Yolo County Manager of Operations & Strategy
(Public Information Officer)

Beth Gabor
625 Court Street, Room 202
Woodland, CA 95695
Phone: (530) 666-8042
FAX: (530) 669-4029
E-mail: beth.gabor@yolocounty.org

mRelief launches end-to-end SMS application in California, powered by Twilio

Post Date:06/06/2018 11:49 AM

Press Release

Chicago, June 6, 2018 - mRelief is thrilled to announce the launch of an end-to-end text messaging application for CalFresh, the food stamps program in the state of California. mRelief currently serves as a state vendor in California providing CalFresh enrollment services with an emphasis on disconnected populations, low-income families without access to the internet or who run out of data each month.

“We are grateful to support low-income families throughout California with an option to apply that is as easy as a text messaging conversation ” said Rose Afriyie Executive Director. “Our aim is to ensure that anyone can access the safety net without it contributing to the already stressful circumstance of poverty.”

The CalFresh application can be completed over text messaging and voice in under 8 minutes and can be seen here. Applicants can provide sensitive information and sign the application through a voice recording initiated by a scheduled call to the applicant at the conclusion of the text messaging conversation. Applicants are given opportunities to correct mistakes and receive encouragement every step of the way.

“We are always looking for innovative and convenient new ways to connect Yolo County residents to our services,” said Yolo County Health and Human Services Branch Director Nolan Sullivan. “mRelief’s updated platform, combined with the Federal Lifeline Phone program, allows food insecure Yolo County residents to apply over the web, and perhaps even more easily, via text message. As long as residents have access to SMS text, we can get them access to food. It is great.”

mRelief launched live on the web and on text messaging in 2014. Since then, the nonprofit has served more than 260,000 families by connecting them to food aid and other public support.

“mRelief’s success connecting people with social services is inspiring,” said Meghan Nesbit, director of nonprofit market development at Twilio.org. “By using SMS to drive enrollment in CalFresh, mRelief is making vital financial assistance more accessible than ever before."

Support towards mRelief’s work ensures that first-rate, accessible technology will exist for our most vulnerable Americans and that the mission to restore dignity by transforming access to social services will be closer to being realized.

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mRelief’s mission is to restore dignity by transforming access to social services, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The SNAP application process has 5 steps: 1) eligibility discovery 2) application submission 3) interview completion 4) submission of documents 5) receipt of card. mRelief is live in 42 states through a partnership with the USDA at data.gov. The software development team is woman-founded and the team remains woman-centered and non-binary inclusive with an approach to making an impact with technology while valuing diversity and inclusion.

Start by finding out if you qualify 10 questions, 3 minutes.

mRelief
321 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654

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