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Maria Was Trying to Make Ends Meet. Then the CalFresh Emergency Allotment Ended.

Maria Was Trying to Make Ends Meet. Then the CalFresh Emergency Allotment Ended.

Maria never thought retirement would include a part-time job and four grandchildren to raise. Luckily, the Food Bank is here to help. Learn more here.

The majority of individuals picture their retirement as a relaxing period, enjoying life and hobbies, perhaps traveling, and being with family. However, many seniors in Los Angeles County do not have that luxury. Maria Velasco is one of those seniors.

Due to circumstances in life, Velasco has custody of her four grandchildren, ages 15, 14, 12, and 10. Raising her grandchildren, or being their household’s sole breadwinner, wasn’t what she had envisioned for her retirement, but she makes the most of it.

Her grandchildren are at a developmental stage, with ever-growing bodies, they need nutritious food in order to do well in school and excel in the future. Velasco, too, needs proper nutrition to possibly avoid a cognitive decline in the near future.

Related Story: Food-Insecure Older Adults are More Susceptible to Cognitive Decline

Velasco does her best to provide for her grandchildren, and herself, but the $1,500 she receives every month just isn’t enough for her household. Because of this, she took on a part-time job as a caregiver, but even that salary isn’t enough to take care of them all. And now with the CalFresh Emergency Allotment that expired in March, things are about to get tougher for Velasco and her family.

Related Story: CalFresh Emergency Allotment Finished A Month Ago. What Does it Mean?

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is Here to Help

Fortunately, Velasco attends the food distribution at the Foothill Unity Center in Monrovia. Here, she receives enough food to help her maximize her grocery budget, and she also receives back-to-school supplies and free haircuts for her grandkids.

CalFresh’s Lack of Extra Benefits is Starting to Cause an Impact

Unfortunately, Velasco isn’t the only person affected by the recent cuts to the CalFresh program. Thousands of families across Los Angeles County have lost up to $246 in extra benefits to help them pay for food.

With more than two months without the benefits, the Food Bank is starting to feel the pressure. In a recent survey sent to the Food Bank’s Partner Agency Network, there has been a hike in food assistance demand since the CalFresh emergency allotment sunsetted in March.

More individuals, like Maria Velasco, are turning to the Food Bank and its partner agencies for food assistance. It’s thanks to the generosity of the community that the Food Bank is able to help those in need when they need it most. If you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to the Food Bank. 

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about CalFresh, or to register, please complete this form and someone from the Food Bank team will contact you.

Join the fight against hunger!

The Food Bank is a highly efficient non-profit organization, with 97% of donations going directly to programs.

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