More and more people are getting food, but people who rely on food aid programs don’t have that luxury, until now.

People who use aid programs such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) still have to go to the store, even if they are in a high-risk population infected with COVID-19. Now, the program is changing to help protect customers.

“[These programs have] many people are elderly or have many health conditions, “said Assmaa Elayyat from the District Health and Human Services Service (HHSA).” We really don’t want them to come out and do it. ”

Access to online grocery shopping has been tested in several other states, but this is the first time it will be available in California. That comes at an important time, because more families are turning to programs like SNAP because of the coronavirus pandemic. San Diego County said it recently saw a 92 percent increase in applications for food stamps.

Nearly 150,000 families in the San Diego area rely on CalFresh, California’s SNAP version. At the end of April, they will be able to shop for groceries online and send them directly to their doorstep. So far, only Amazon and Walmart have been approved to receive federal-distributed EBT cards, but more retailers will be added to the program soon.

It is important to note that EBT funds cannot be used for shipping costs. But HHSA San Diego says free shipping is still an option on most online store platforms.

“Both retailers will waive shipping costs if the purchase is at least $ 35,” Elayyat said.

There is also an additional amount of money coming for many SNAP users. Currently the average CalFresh benefit is $ 318, but additional funding will be available for April and May.

You can find more information about the CalFresh program on the Internet The San Diego County website is here.

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