New figures from the California Department of Social Services show application for Benefits of CalFresh food aid – sometimes called “food stamps” – doubled, with 88,602 requests in the last week of March. That compared with 39,145 applications in the same week in 2019.
Some families and needy seniors who are approved face unforeseen obstacles in getting much needed food: they can only use their allowance cards in stores, forcing them to leave relatively safe home security.
Catherine is one of them. The 61-year-old lung cancer patient lives at home U.S. Disease Control and Prevention Center recommend a. His condition means he has a very high risk of life-threatening illness if exposed to the corona virus.
But Catherine told the NBC Bay Area that she could only use CalFresh’s benefits directly, at the grocery store.
“Why hasn’t the government made it possible to use your food stamps online when ordering food from supermarkets, to be sent via Instacart, for example?” he asked us.
We brought the question to the Social Services Department. This confirms that yes, the current settings require CalFresh recipients to go to the store. But that can change soon.
Social Services told us that he applied for federal approval to allow CalFresh recipients to use their benefits online. On Wednesday, U.S. Agricultural Food Nutrition Services Department (FNS) approves California’s request.
Officials with DSS said that the implementation of the NBC Bay Area could take place in just a few weeks.
“Approval received from FNS depends on working with retailers approved by FNS, Amazon and Walmart,” a Social Services spokeswoman said by email. “We will continue to work with FNS to bring in additional retailers. Implementation is expected by the end of April.”
We will look for updates on the country’s website, GetCalFresh.org. That’s where individuals and families can apply for food assistance. The state says the application process takes about ten minutes, and you can get up to $ 194 per person, per month.
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