RIVERSIDE COUNTY — To soften the economic blow of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the state of California continues to extend supplemental food benefits. New and existing CalFresh recipients can expect another emergency allotment on Aug. 16.

More than 75,000 Riverside County households received supplemental food benefits for July.

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.

This is the fifth emergency allotment of supplemental CalFresh benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another supplemental benefit will be issued on Sept. 9.

The supplemental CalFresh benefits will bring eligible households not already receiving the maximum amount up to the maximum monthly allotment for their household size. For example, a household of two that would typically receive $53 in CalFresh benefits could be temporarily eligible to receive the maximum of $355.

Since April, California has issued more than $55 million in emergency CalFresh allotments to more than 75,000 households in Riverside County.

With the pandemic continuing to impact our communities in various ways, these extra dollars are vital to help struggling families and seniors keep healthy food on the table,” said Allison Gonzalez, program director over Self-Sufficiency at the county’s Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). “Customers received on average an extra $182 last month so it’s worth it to apply and see if they’re eligible.”

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.

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