How Long do CalFresh Benefits Last?

How Long do CalFresh Benefits Last?

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is here to help families in need once CalFresh benefits deplete

For an individual earning minimum wage to sustain a family of four, living in Los Angeles County is impossible without assistance. With a gross monthly income of $2,400 a month, they must cover:

Rent for a two-bedroom apartment ~$2,600/month avg
Utilities ~$300/month
Transportation ~$320/month

This does not include additional costs that may incur, for example, diapers, baby wipes, clothing or uniforms for school and/or work, school supplies, car or home repairs, medical or car insurance, medical bills, and other household needs. And with the rising cost of food and other essentials, the budget needs to be revised on a monthly basis.

Even in a dual-income home, the household’s budget is tight. That’s where benefits from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the CalFresh Program come into play.

Receiving CalFresh Benefits

CalFresh, formerly known as Food Stamps, is a food assistance program that helps people to stretch their food dollars so they can 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 (aka Food Stamps)?

As of October 2021, an eligible family of four can receive a maximum of $835 each month in benefits from the CalFresh program (maximum is not guaranteed; dependent on income and asset eligibility). But how long do these funds last?

According to the USDA, prices for fruits, oil, and eggs have increased 11%, while fresh vegetables are up 4%. Additionally, beef and veal prices have seen the most significant inflation of 16.2%, in comparison to seafood at a 10% increase and pork and poultry at a 13% increase. Families who used to spend $200 a week at the grocery store now have to spend nearly $300, seeing their CalFresh benefits deplete by mid-month and their budgets.

How the Food Bank Helps Once CalFresh Benefits End

Food is one of the most basic, everyday necessities. However, there are millions of individuals who don’t have access to this resource consistently throughout the month.

The Food Bank and its more than 600 partner agencies reach hundreds of thousands of individuals across LA County, providing food assistance to those part of the CalFresh program, as well as to those that aren’t eligible. At these distributions, individuals may receive fresh fruits and vegetables, canned and bagged goods, dairy products, meats, as well as household essentials that may not be covered by CalFresh.

Receiving additional assistance from the Food Bank at the end of the month when CalFresh benefits deplete can be a life-changer for families in need. 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 near you.

The Food Bank relies on the generosity of the community to help families who struggle with food assistance. If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to the Food Bank.

Join the fight against hunger!

Hundreds of thousands of individuals benefit from the food assistance provided by the Food Bank. If you are in a position to do so, consider donating.

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