COVID-19 CalFresh Information
CalFresh Emergency Allotments
- January 2023 CalFresh Emergency Allotment (EA) was approved and will be available on EBT cards in Humboldt County on Sunday, February 5, 2023. As a reminder, these are tied to the federal Public Health Emergency.
End of CalFresh Emergency Allotments is February 2023
The additional CalFresh Emergency Allotments (EA), which were additional benefits granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will end soon.
The final month of EA is February 2023, which is deposited onto EBT cards in March 2023.
As a result, CalFresh participants will see less in CalFresh dollars on their benefits cards beginning in April 2023. Participants will still receive their regular benefits, but no additional allotments.
Please read this statement from the California Department of Social Services for more details:
- CalFresh Emergency Allotments are ending because the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends the issuance of CalFresh Emergency Allotments to households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A final Emergency Allotment (EA) will be issued in March 2023. You will get less CalFresh beginning April 2023.
While the regular CalFresh benefit you are eligible for is not changing, you will no longer get the additional CalFresh benefit you have been getting due to the EA ending.
The regular CalFresh benefit you get is the CalFresh amount put onto your EBT card between the 1st and 10th of each month. Your regular benefit amount is based on your circumstances, including your household size, income, and deductions.
As this is a required change, there are no hearing rights related to the loss of EA benefits. No further action is required.
Please remember that unused CalFresh benefits will roll over into the next month; these remaining EA benefits do not have to be spent within the month of deposit and can be used at any time (as long as the CalFresh case is active and the card is used at least once in 9 months).
For more information please go to: https://cdss.ca.gov/calfreshcovid19
More About CalFresh Emergency Allotments
- CalFresh Emergency Allotments (EA) are issued with a minimum EA of $95. This means that if you get more than $95 to bring your benefits up to the maximum for your household, you will continue to get that larger amount. Households that got less than $95 in order to be boosted to the max, or who got no EA at all due to already getting the maximum amount, will now get $95 in EA.
This minimum EA applies regardless of household size. Households eligible for the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are eligible to also receive an EA of $95; Housheolds that are not eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size, but whose emergency allotment is less than $95 per month will receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month; Households that are eligible to receive more than $95 per month will continue to receive that amount since it is over the minimum amount now allowed for EAs.
This is done at the state level, and Humboldt County is not responsible for issuing the benefits to cards.
All households with active CalFresh cases in the benefit month will receive the maximum amount of benefits for their household size.
Emergency Allotments are approved on a rolling basis and issued by the State of California (NOT at the local County level). The Emergency Allotment for a benefit month is issued in the middle of the next month. (So, expect to see your usual benefit amount at the usual time and to get the Emergency Allotment boost up to the maximum benefit level for your household size around the middle of the next month. When you get that boost mid-December, it's technically for November.)
There is no extra paperwork to turn in to get the extra CalFresh benefits. It will simply be added to your EBT card, and you'll be able to use it just like regular CalFresh.
What if you're not getting CalFresh currently?
Our CalFresh Outreach staff are here to help with the application process, the eligibility process after your application has been submitted to the County, and questions/tips on reporting and recertifying in order to continue receiving benefits. Once you are receiving CalFresh, it is important to take all the necessary steps to make sure benefits continue for as long as you need them, and our staff are experts in helping households with this process.
Call our CalFresh Outreach staff at (707) 499-6477 (text or call--this is a dedicated CalFresh Outreach mobile phone)
Email our CalFresh Outreach staff at CalFresh@foodforpeople.org
You can also call (707) 445-3166 extension 318 or 308. For Spanish language assistance, please use extension 318. (Please note that staff attend food bank activities all over the county and are not always at their desks, so the mobile phone number listed above in option #1 is best.)
Fill out our online CalFresh Calback Form, and our staff will call or email you back.
And what if you have already applied, or are getting CalFresh currently, and have questions about the process?
- Reach out to our Outreach staff with the contact info listed above.
- We can provide answers and support with completing your application process successfully, even if you have already applied and are waiting for next steps.
- We can help with reports that ensure you continue receiving benefits.
- We can help answer questions if you get a "Notice of Action" or letter in the mail about your benefits, loss of benefits, or request by the county for more information from you.
- Our goal is to support you in obtaining nutrition benefits and help you keep your benefits, so that you don't need to reapply!
Pandemic EBT for Children
August 2022 Update: P-EBT 3.0
- California's P-EBT has been approved for the 2021-2022 school year, plus Summer P-EBT, referred to as P-EBT 3.0.
- P-EBT 3.0 includes benefit months August 2021 through May 2022 (for the 2021-2022 school year) and benefit months June through August 2022 (for Summer P-EBT).
- The program will be available to both school-aged children and young children under six.
- School-age children (TK-grade 12) are eligible for P-EBT 3.0 benefits if they were:
- Eligible for free/reduced priced meals during the 2021-22 school year or summer 2022;
- Enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program or a Provision school during the 2021-22 school year; AND
- Did not attend school in person because of COVID-19 during the 2021-22 school year. This includes students who were enrolled in Independent Study, California’s version of virtual learning, as well as students who had five or more excused absences in any given month.
- Students that are considered ineligible for school year 2021-22 P-EBT benefits because they attended school in person may be eligible to get Summer P-EBT benefits if, as of May 2022, they were eligible for free/reduced price meals and enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program or a Provision school.
- Young children under age 6 are eligible for P-EBT 3.0 benefits if they were:
- Under age six as of August 1, 2021, AND
- Part of a household getting CalFresh benefits between August 2021 and August 2022.
- How much can I expect to receive?
- School-aged children will receive $7.10 for each day the student did not attend school in person in school year 2021-22. This includes days the student attended school through Independent Study or all absence days in a month where the student had greater than five excused absences. In addition, school-aged children eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits will get a standard benefit amount of $391.
- Young children will receive P-EBT 3.0 benefits for each month they got CalFresh Food benefits. A standard statewide benefit amount will be provided. Eligible young children will receive an average of $45 per month for each month they received CalFresh benefits in school year 2021-22. In addition, young children eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits will get a standard benefit amount of $391.
- When will I get my card(s)?
- School-aged children will start getting P-EBT 3.0 cards in the mail November 2022 for benefit months August through December 2021. The cards will then be reloaded in December 2022 for benefit months January through August 2022 for existing cardholders. New P-EBT 3.0 cards will be mailed out to any school-aged children that are only eligible for benefit months January through August 2022 in December 2022. P-EBT 3.0 cards will be mailed in alphabetical order based on first name.
- Young children (under age 6) willstart getting P-EBT 3.0 cards in the mail October 2022 for benefit months August through December 2021. The cards will be reloaded in November 2022 for benefit months January through August 2022 for existing cardholders. New P-EBT 3.0 cards will be mailed out to any young children that are only eligible for benefit months January through August 2022 in November 2022. P-EBT 3.0 cards will be mailed in alphabetical order based on first name.
- If you have questions specific to your benefits and/or eligibility, please contact the P-EBT Help line at (877) 328-9677 Monday through Friday 6am-8pm or visit the P-EBT website at ca.p-ebt.org.
- Food for People's CalFresh Outreach staff can assist with CalFresh and answer questions about P-EBT: email @email, or call our dedicated CalFresh line at (707) 499-6477, or call (707) 445-3166 ext. 318 for Español.
Online Purchasing with CalFresh EBT card
- SInce April 28, 2020, CalFresh households have been welcome to use their EBT cards to purchase food online through Amazon and Walmart.
- In addition, EBT online has been expanded to include a number of Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons locations across California, plus Aldi through Instacart
- In Humboldt County--that means just Safeway, and more specifically, only the Eureka Safeway. We have verified with Eureka Safeway how it works:
1. Shop online for Eureka Safeway and do curbside pickup (not delivery)
2. Pay when you pick up. A Safeway employee brings a tablet to your car to slide your EBT card and enter PIN.
- The state is working hard to add more stores in the future.
- Amazon will accept CalFresh benefits, and Walmart will be able to accept CalFresh and CalWORKs cash aid. CalWORKs cash aid can be used on non-food items.
- Starting on April 28, 2020, the process for EBT online purchasing follows a similar process as is currently used for debit or credit card purchases. After shopping for items online, choose a delivery date and time, and then go to the payment page. Select method of payment, and enter EBT card number. A virtual secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) pad will be presented on the screen. Enter PIN to complete the transaction.
- Amazon and Walmart offer free delivery on online purchases over $35.00. Delivery fees for orders under $35.00 vary and can be found on the respective retailers’ websites. Federal law prohibits the usage of CalFresh benefits to pay for delivery, convenience, or other fees and charges associated with online purchasing. CalFresh shopers will be required to use another method of payment for any delivery fees. Walmart accepts CalWORKs cash benefits to pay for delivery fees.
- To help address delivery fees, Amazon offers "Amazon Cash" at over 11,000 locations throughout California, including 7-Eleven, RiteAid, and CVS stores. EBT cardholders can create an account and deposit as little as $5.00 cash at any Amazon Cash location. There are no fees associated with this service. Cardholders may then use the money they deposited to pay delivery fees or purchase other items from Amazon. Cardholders can find locations by visiting the Amazon Cash website, found at this link. This web page provides detailed instructions for setting up and using the Amazon Cash service.