County residents receiving food aid can expect another boost in benefits

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County residents who rely on government assistance for grocery purchases can expect another boost in benefits next month because of the coronavirus emergency, officials say.

According to the county Department of Public Social Services, CalFresh recipients are in line for a third supplemental installment for June, coming after increased allotments in March and April.

“Customers received, on average, an extra $170 in April,” said DPSS Assistant Director for Self-Sufficiency Allison Gonzalez. “Those extra dollars add up and can help struggling seniors and families keep nutritious food on the table.”

CalFresh is a state-administered program that’s federally supported through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which replaced food stamps in the prior decade. Recipients are supplied with electronic benefits debit cards for use in stores.

There are income limits for applicants, but Gonzalez said anyone is welcome to apply to determine whether they or their family qualifies.

DPSS officials said that, thanks to the March and April infusions, a family of two which typically took in $53 in CalFresh benefits was temporarily eligible to receive up to $355 because of the supplemental federal appropriations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 76,000 county households were included in the higher benefits appropriations in April, representing about $13.6 million in aid, according to DPSS.

Information on how to apply for CalFresh benefits is available at GetCalFresh.org, or by calling DPSS at 877-410-8827.