Ashley Cruz | The Poly Post

CalFresh Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help combat student hunger

By Ashley Cruz, Oct. 25, 2022

On Oct. 4 Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 641, to make CalFresh more accessible for college students.

According to a 2019 report from the The Legislative Analyst’s Office  California college students hunger rates are 10% higher than the national average.  It was noted that 44% of California undergrads experience food insecurity.

“There are actually a lot of benefits out there and not a lot of people use them so I’m taking advantage of being eligible,” said Edwin Rodriguez, manufacturing engineering student. “Rather than using your money from financial aid or work checks, I can use this money.”

CalFresh for college students act now requires county departments to show the program list or requirements on their website.

This update will help students know what they need to be eligible and will provide resources for those not eligible to accommodate their situation.

Ashley Cruz | The Poly Post

According to Jaime Tierrablanca CPP’s CalFresh coordinator, these changes will allow CalFresh offices the chance to inform students of what is needed to qualify for benefits and will allow workers to see who needs more benefits, who is struggling and does not qualify.

Currently with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, statistical records are not available for CalFresh departments workers to view making it difficult to see who needs aid and whose aid is not enough.

“I follow up and some students are great in replying, but then some students don’t, so with this bill I’ll be able to see what’s going on,” said Tierrablanca.  “Once the county publishes these numbers it’ll hopefully boost the number of college students receiving benefits.”

Much of the hunger difficulties that surround college students, will be reduced with the updates. Instead of students using their financial aid to buy groceries they can utilize CalFresh to help them purchase food.

Anabella Rocha, a Poly Pantry employee and psychology student said, “I think those programs are definitely necessary and students can utilize those (programs) to have food on their table and nutritious food to keep them nourished.”

According to Tierrablanca, CPP’s CalFresh department intends to promote CalFresh/SNAP throughout the school year.

Due to the rise in food prices SNAP benefits increased by 12.2% which started in October.

For more information contact Bronco Cares website.

Feature image by Ashley Cruz

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