SAN DIEGO — Those emergency allotments from the federal government to the California's CalFresh program will end this month, so that families will see the last boost to their benefits next month.
As the federal COVID emergency declaration comes to an end, the additional federal assistance in food stamps that more than 350,000 San Diegans now rely on will also come to an end.
As one local non-profit put it, it's like "falling off a food cliff."
"We are expecting that more families here in San Diego are going to need our assistance," said Vanessa Ruiz of the San Diego Food Bank.
She said they are preparing now as food stamp benefits, also known as CalFresh, will soon be drastically reduced by at least $95 a month depending on family size and income.
"It is going to range, but the minimum is going to be $95 but it could be a couple hundred, three hundred dollars for some families," Ruiz told CBS 8.
Those emergency allotments from the federal government to the state's CalFresh program will end this month, so that families will see the last boost to their benefits next month.
This will impact millions of Californians who've come to rely on this extra assistance during the pandemic especially as inflation continues to climb.
"People are paying record prices for their food, gas, electricity, rent," Ruiz added, "And this could not come at a worse time."
"Everyone stands to lose, no matter where you fall on the Cal Fresh benefits range," said Carissa Casares of Feeding San Diego. The group is also gearing up for an increased demand for services, including no-cost food distributions, as these bolstered benefits disappear.
"We will always be there for people who need food assistance in San Diego County for as long as we can, because we believe food is a basic human right," Casares told CBS 8.
Feeding San Diego also provides outreach to families, in English and Spanish, to sign up for CalFresh benefits, or simply to get more information.
"Our specialists, people can reach out to them even if they aren't applying, even if they just have questions about the emergency allotments," she added.
The San Diego Food Bank is also ramping up for an uncertain future, much the same way they did during the start of the pandemic.
"We are... preparing for a potential increase, and we are doing that by making sure we have the right types of food in-house," Ruiz said, "and we are letting our donors know, so that they know in advance and so they can help support the San Diego Food Bank as well."
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