Just over 120,000 Riverside County households that receive CalFresh food assistance can expect additional emergency relief on their benefits card on Sunday (May 16).
CalFresh, also known as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income and working-class households buy nutritious food, provides free school meals for qualified children and gives customers access to educational and job training programs that promote independence.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased emergency food benefits for SNAP recipients. Starting May 16, all recipients will receive a minimum of $95 per month in emergency benefits during the pandemic, regardless of household size. The USDA determined that a new approach to emergency allotments would provide greater equity for households most in need.
“This helps ease food insecurity and lifts a financial burden off Riverside County households struggling the most as we all work to recover from this pandemic,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director of Self Sufficiency at the county’s Dept. of Public Social Services.
Since pandemic relief began a year ago this April, the state has issued nearly $200 million in emergency benefits to Riverside County individuals and families, generating approximately $335 million in economic benefits to grocers, eateries and farmer’s markets, according to the state program’s calculator.
The emergency aid raises each household’s monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowed per household. Emergency benefits are in addition to regular monthly CalFresh assistance which reflect a 15% increase until September to provide pandemic relief.