Almost 40,000 college students in Riverside County are eligible for CalFresh benefits

Kalayah Wilson, 21, holds a bag of groceries during the weekly food distribution at the University of California Riverside campus food pantry. Wilson works to inform students about expanded eligibility for CalFresh benefits during the pandemic. Valley News/Courtesy photo
RIVERSIDE COUNTY – College students who are struggling with food and housing insecurity are encouraged to apply for a program that can help them stretch their food budgets and eat healthier, county officials and student advocates said this week. Nearly 40,000 college students in Riverside County are eligible for CalFresh, but county officials said less than 10% of eligible students in the county have signed up. Congress temporarily expanded food assistance to college students in January’s pandemic relief package, Allison Gonzalez, assistant director of the Department of Public Social Services, said. “We want to make sure our local students know this help is available. They should not have to worry about being able to afford their next meal,” Gonzalez said. “Our caseworkers
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