Student rates

CalFresh Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to Help Fight Student Hunger

By Ashley Cruz, October 25, 2022

On October 4, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 641, to make CalFresh more accessible to students.

According to a 2019 report by the Office of the Legislative Analyst California student hunger rates are 10% higher than the national average. It has been noted that 44% of California undergraduates experience food insecurity.

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

The CalFresh law for students now requires county departments to post the list of programs or requirements on their website.

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

Ashley Cruz | Post Poly

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

Currently, with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, statistical records are not available to CalFresh department employees, making it difficult to see who needs help and whose help is not enough.

“I follow up and some students are great at responding, but some students don’t, so with this bill I’ll be able to see what’s going on,” Tierrablanca said. “Once the county releases these numbers, we hope it will increase the number of students receiving stipends.”

Much of the hunger related difficulty surrounding college students will be reduced with the updates. Instead of students using their financial aid to buy groceries, they can use CalFresh to help them buy food.

Poly Pantry employee and psychology student Anabella Rocha said, “I think these programs are absolutely necessary and students can use them (programs) to get food on their tables and nutritious food to keep them nourished.

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

Due to rising food prices, SNAP benefits increased by 12.2% from October.

For more information, contact Bronco Cares website.

Featured image by Ashley Cruz