SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Payments increased on Oct. 1 by about 22% for recipients of CalFresh, according to a press release.
A household of four will receive the maximum benefit with up to an extra $155 per month — depending on income — to spend on groceries.
CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, has been used to address food insecurity in the Bay Area and beyond.
“The program has been able to sustain be and my kids throughout the whole pandemic,” said Francisco Pacheco, a CalFresh recipient from San Jose.
“It’s something I can count on, on a regular basis, I know that EBT is going to be there for me, I know that CalFresh is going to support me.”
As pandemic-related assistance starts to wind down for many, the 22% increase will be permanent, the agency said.
CalFresh Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards can be used at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other retailers when buying food products.
“It’s absolutely historic that it’s increasing,” said Angela Shing, director of employment and benefits for Santa Clara County’s Social Services Agency.
“I would say, though, it’s not enough, that’s my personal feeling,” Shing added.
“They have not kept up with the times, that’s why it’s so important and it’s so historic that they’re increasing now.”
Only select CalFresh recipients, who are disabled, homeless or 60 years and older, can use EBT to buy ready-to-eat meals at select restaurants, which are typically food chains.
CalFresh clients can check their EBT balance here.