RIVERSIDE COUNTY — To assist families and seniors during the COVID-19 crisis, the state will be providing supplemental food benefits to new and existing CalFresh recipients on May 10.

The extra benefits will be the second of two short-term infusions the state is making to help CalFresh recipients manage the sharp economic downturn spurred by the pandemic. The first allocation for March was recently made to 70,000 Riverside County households, representing an extra $12.6 million.

“The temporary benefits can add up for seniors and households so it’s worth the effort to apply,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director over Self-Sufficiency at the county’s Department of Public Social Services. “It’s a good time to see if you qualify.”

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 additional benefits put healthy food on tables and take pressure off families and individuals who are struggling during this unprecedented event,” Gonzalez said. “These extra benefits will also support our local economy as county residents buy groceries from local stores and restaurants that accept their (electronic benefit transfer) EBT cards.”

Gonzalez said CalFresh customers should be able to begin using their EBT cards online at Amazon and Walmart by the end of April. California has eased the applications process for CalFresh, CalWORKS and Medi-Cal, which provide food, cash and health services to qualified applicants.    Applications for CalFresh, CalWORKS and/or Medi-Cal can be made online at C4Yourself.org or by calling 1-877-410-8827.

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