For those who don't know, May is CalFresh awareness month! CalFresh is a program that provides low-income individuals and households in California the ability to add healthy and nutritious food on the table at a reduced cost. Click here to learn more about the CalFresh program, eligibility, and the application. In an effort to address food insecurity, Community Wellbeing San Diego (CWSD) — a nonprofit committed to addressing the social determinants of health — has a new program that helps eligible community members easily apply for CalFresh.
CWSD, along with its community partners, aims to address food insecurity by promoting the CalFresh program to individuals, community members, and families, as well as provide resources to easily apply for CalFresh benefits. This project aligns with CWSD's mission to increase awareness and knowledge on healthy food options and encourage informed decision-making behaviors.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent economic shutdown, food insecurity is at an all-time high, with community members and families struggling to put food on the table. During these unprecedented times, CalFresh has become an effective approach to address this barrier to food. Recently, the state government has made legislative and policy changes to expand the eligibility for the CalFresh program as well as streamline the application process.
Information on CalFresh during COVID-19:
Online applications through GetCalFresh.org increased 300% when Coronavirus lockdown began in California, with additional data revealing that roughly 60% of applicants have never applied for CalFresh before.
The following are new changes to CalFresh:
CalFresh benefits can be used at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and online stores. The program provides great options for families experiencing food insecurity, and these options allow members to continue observing recommended social distancing and home isolation guidelines during these times.
CalFresh EBT cards may be used to purchase groceries online through Amazon and Walmart as of 4/28/2020.
The majority of application interviews have been waived.
Eligibility redetermination — the determination as to whether current members can keep their benefits — has been waived throughout May.
Throughout May, benefit amounts have increased for all members to the maximum level allowed based on household size. This additive benefit ranges between $16 to $194 for a single individual.
If interested in applying for the CalFresh program, you may complete this form, and a CWSD associate member will contact you within 2-4 days to assist you with the application process. Please note, the form is NOT a CalFresh application. If you need immediate assistance, please call 211.