Individuals and families affected by the recent severe winter storms in nine counties, including Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, may be eligible to receive Disaster CalFresh food benefits as part of continuing disaster recovery efforts, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has announced.
A family of four with a monthly income up to $3,130 per month may be eligible to receive up to $939 in food benefits through this program, which is available to those who lived or worked in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Calaveras, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties from Dec. 27, 2022-Jan. 25, 2023.
Those who already receive regular CalFresh food benefits will not be eligible for Disaster CalFresh.
The Disaster CalFresh program will be operated by phone, online, and in-person. Call your local county social services offices for in-person hours or in-person assistance.
Those who can apply include any individuals and families who lived or worked in the aforementioned counties during the dates stated if the household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the severe winter storms:
• At least one person in the household was not getting regular CalFresh food benefits.
• Money was spent because of the storms or related power outage.
• Money was lost from work because of the severe winter storms, or
• Money was spent because of damage to a home or business.
Households may apply Feb. 6-10 and Feb. 14-15 by calling their local county social services office, submitting a paper application, or submitting a pre-registration online application.
In most cases, Disaster CalFresh food benefits will be available within three days of the date of a qualifying interview.
Pre-registration online applications will be available beginning Feb. 4, and will be accepted in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and the other counties at MyBenefits CalWIN.
Applications received Feb. 11-13 will be considered as received on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Disaster CalFresh food benefits will be provided via an Electronic Benefits Transfer
(EBT) card, which is like a debit card that can be used to buy food items at grocery stores and other authorized retailers.
If applicants are approved, their county will tell them when and where to pick up their EBT card.
Additional information is available at CalFresh Disaster Response. Clients may reach their local county social services office by calling 877-847-3663.
For more information about Disaster CalFresh for impacted counties, call your local county social services office:
• San Luis Obispo: 805-781-1600
• Santa Barbara: 866-404-4007
On Jan. 31, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved California’s request for Disaster CalFresh food benefits to enhance recovery efforts in Calaveras, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz counties. The program is known nationally as the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP.