As college tuition continues to rise, college students are being forced to make crucial decisions to make ends meet every month. With the CalFresh program updating its eligibility criteria starting June 10, food and nutrition insecurity will likely continue to rise among the college student population.
CalFresh, known as SNAP nationally, and formerly known as Food Stamps, is a food assistance program that helps people stretch their food dollars to buy more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. In order to be eligible for the CalFresh program, there is an income and assets eligibility process, and from there, an Eligibility Benefits Transfer (EBT) card will be issued to the individual and/or household with a set monthly stipend to be spent strictly on food products.
Related Story: What is and isn’t covered with CalFresh?
Starting June 10, students whose families could not contribute a dollar to their education or who are approved for federal or state work-study programs will no longer be automatically eligible for CalFresh. These students will have to submit to stricter eligibility requirements in order to receive food assistance from the program.
A recent study that analyzed data from community colleges found that approximately 47% of students experienced food insecurity in 2021. The study also reveals that students who receive CalFresh benefits tend to have higher GPAs and are more likely to persevere in their studies.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank partners with colleges like Cerritos College, Citrus College, and many others in order to provide students with food and nutrition assistance through its Mobile Food Pantry. It is too often that college students opt not to eat due to financial or time constraints, splitting time between school and work, but food distributions help bring healthier foods to their tables.
Related Story: The LA Regional Food Bank Helps Citrus College Fight Food and Nutrition Insecurity on Campus
Receiving additional assistance from the Food Bank when CalFresh benefits deplete can be a life-changer for college students, individuals, and families in need. The Food Bank has agencies throughout Los Angeles County, from Long Beach to the Antelope Valley. If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, please visit the Food Bank’s Food Pantry Locator for the nearest distribution.
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As we move further into 2023, new data is emerging that highlights the alarming extent of food insecurity in Los Angeles. Learn more here.
Foothill Unity Center in Monrovia helps families from all walks of life get the food assistance they need. Learn more here.
The Food Bank’s partner agency is addressing food insecurity in the San Fernando Valley. Learn more here.
Learn more about the CalFresh program as the Food Bank answers some of the most frequently asked questions.