CalFresh Awareness Month began in May of 2011 to help bring public awareness of the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) called CalFresh in California (formerly known as food stamps). Despite the positive economic impact the program has on our communities the program continues to be stigmatized and carries with it misconceptions that can cause eligible families not to apply for benefits they qualify for.
So today we're gonna dive a little deeper, share what we know, and dispel myths associated with this program.
What is CalFresh?
CalFresh (or SNAP) is a federally mandated, state-supervised, and county-operated government entitlement program that provides monthly food benefits to assist low-income households in purchasing the food they need to maintain adequate nutritional levels. In general, these benefits are for any food or food product intended for human consumption and can add to a food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table.
Who is eligible?
All U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Resident children may qualify to receive CalFresh benefits, regardless of where their parents were born. Parents may also qualify for benefits if all other program guidelines are met.
How much can I receive?
The amount of benefits you can receive is dependent on your family size, countable income, and monthly expenses such as housing, utilities, and so forth.
Do I need to have children to get CalFresh?
Household and/or individuals with no children may also qualify.
Is CalFresh welfare?
It is not welfare. You do not have to be on welfare to get CalFresh benefits. It is a nutrition assistance program that can help low income households buy nutritious foods.
Other people need it more, will I be taking benefits from a needier family than my own?
SNAP is an entitlement program. Anyone who applies and is eligible will get SNAP benefits. This will not reduce the amount that goes to anyone else.
Will my children have to pay back CalFresh benefits when they are older?
Neither you nor anyone in your or your household will need to pay back benefits you qualify for. Make sure to always report the correct information to avoid mistakes in the amount of benefits you are issued.
Will I have to go to the office and wait many hours to get an appointment?
Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino CalFresh Coordinators can complete and submit your application for you and provide you with a receipt. Your mandatory interview with DPSS office can be by phone and you can receive your EBT card by mail.
How can I apply?
If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to afford nutritious food then call our office today to speak to our knowledgeable CalFresh specialist to help you apply.
For more information and to get started, call (951) 359-4757 ext. 123 or email Martha Santos at msantos@FeedingamericaIE.org