RIVERSIDE COUNTY — To help families and seniors during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the state of California extended supplemental food benefits through June. New and existing CalFresh recipients can expect a third emergency allotment on June 14.

The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used at many markets and food stores. The program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. For every dollar of CalFresh money spent, $1.79 is generated in local economic activity, according to California Department of Social Services.

It’s the third emergency allotment of CalFresh benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Households not already receiving the maximum amount allowed will be issued additional CalFresh benefits to bring them up to the max amount for June. For example, in March and April, a household of two that would typically receive $53 in CalFresh benefits could be temporarily eligible to receive the maximum of $355.

The most recent allocation for April assisted more than 76,000 Riverside County households, representing more than $13.6 million in food benefits.

“Customers should apply and see if they qualify,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director over Self-Sufficiency at the county’s Department of Public Social Services (DPSS).  “Customers received on average an extra $170 in April. Those extra dollars add up and can help struggling seniors and families keep nutritious food on the table as the pandemic continues.”

Since the end of April, CalFresh customers have been able to use their EBT cards to buy groceries online at Amazon and Walmart. Customers can apply at GetCalFresh.org or by calling the DPSS Customer Service Center at 1-877-410-8827.

Image Sources

  • Basket of food: Pixaby