(KRON) — During the pandemic, an extra allotment of CalFresh benefits were provided for those in need to buy food, but soon those extra dollars will go away.
Food banks across the Bay Area and California are expecting a surge in demand in the coming weeks and months. Those who have been receiving an extra emergency allotment of CalFresh benefits will see that go away when the program ends at the end of February.
“This ending of the increased CalFresh benefit is coming at a time when families have not yet recovered. We are very concerned about the end of this allotment. Families may see their benefits decrease to as little as 23 dollars a month,” said Tanis Crosby, SF-Marin Food Bank executive director.
The end of the emergency allotment will impact 83,000 households in San Francisco and Marin Counties and 91,000 households in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
“As these benefits go away, we will see more people turning to food banks. For food banks, the same inflationary prices that are impacting individuals are also impacting our budget. At the same time, our donations are going down,” said CEO Leslie Bacho, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
Food banks said now more than ever help from community donations are needed to cover increased demand and costs for food staples like eggs and milk. “For every dollar donated, we can turn that into enough food for two meals,” said Bacho.
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Food banks are hoping for more support at the state and federal level. “There is a call to action right here in the State of California. We can set a higher rate for CalFresh benefits like other states have done. We can incentivize the purchase of home-grown product by matching and doubling dollars so that people have the resources to buy food grown in California,” said Bacho.