CalFresh Households Can Receive Replacement Benefits for Food Lost due to Highland Fire
Mon, 13/11/2023 - 04:00
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. —CalFresh households in the communities of Anza and Aguanga, which experienced food losses due to the Highland Fire and used benefits to purchase that food have until Nov. 28 to report the losses and request replacement benefits. The state recently approved extending the normal reporting period for food loss from 10 to 30 days. The additional time allows impacted CalFresh households in Riverside County to assess their losses and recover as much as possible.
State officials estimate approximately 22,868 households in the affected areas received an estimated $14.6 million in CalFresh benefits, some of which may have been used to purchase food subsequently destroyed due to the recent wildfire that began on Oct. 30 in the southern region of the county.
“We want our customers to know that we’re here to help recover losses as quickly as possible,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director at the county’s Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) who oversees the Self Sufficiency Division. “We encourage our customers impacted by the recent fire and related power outages to reach out in person, by phone or online to request replacement benefits.”
When completing the form, customers should include their contact information, a short description of how the food was lost, and the time and date when the loss occurred.
CalFresh is the state’s largest food program that issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy groceries at many stores, farmers markets, and online through certain retailers such as Amazon, Ralph’s, and Walmart.
Riverside County residents in need of food assistance and not currently receiving CalFresh benefits are encouraged to apply by calling 1-877-410-8827, visiting their nearest DPSS office or online at BenefitsCal.com.