Rio Hondo College Will Begin Promoting Calfresh to Students

Rio Hondo College recently announced it will receive a $432,726 grant from the Calfresh program beginning in Oct until Sept of 2024. Calfresh is part of a federal program that assists low-income individuals and households purchase food and groceries. The school will use the grant to advocate the Calfresh program to students and to assist them with the application process.

What is Calfresh?

Calfresh is a nutritional program in California. It is part of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Food Stamps is the most common name for the SNAP program. Food Stamps is also the former name of the program.

Students who are approved for Calfresh benefits will get an EBT card that they can use to purchase groceries and food wherever EBT is accepted. More places take EBT cards than before including Amazon, Walmart, Superior Grocers, and Food 4 Less. Most fast food restaurants also accept EBT payments.

How Will Rio Hondo College Use the Award?

Rio Hondo College won’t be giving financial assistance directly to students. It will instead use the funds received from Calfresh to “pay for outreach methods involving social media, classroom presentations, space at the RíoSource Room (food pantry), campus events and grocery giveaways to show students how they can partake in the program,” announced Rio Hondo College in a press release about the grant on Sept 9.

Students still have to apply to Calfresh on their own, but Rio Hondo College will be using the funds to promote the Calfresh program to students. According to Rio Hondo College, “By being able to reduce barriers to basic food needs, students who are disproportionately impacted will have a higher likelihood of staying enrolled and will therefore be able to meet their educational goals and ultimately, obtain a college degree or transfer.”

Part of Rio Hondo College’s role is to help students overcome those barriers by encouraging students who are eligible to apply for Calfresh benefits.

Who is Eligible for Calfresh Benefits?

As of now undocumented immigrants including DACA students aren’t eligibe for the Calfresh nutritional program. But there are a few expectations. As long as one member of a household is documented, has a green card, refugee status, or any other qualifying factor, a household can still be eligible for Calfresh benefits.

Multiple household members are eligible to receive Calfresh benefits. For one person the minimum benefit awarded is $234 a month. For two people the benefit award increases to a minimum of $240 a month. The amount of assistance a household can receive increases with each additional household member. In addition, benefit amounts have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the official application website for Calfresh. Those who apply will receive more assistance than they would have before the pandemic.

Calfresh applications are for 12 months, but on certain occasions they can be for up to 24 months. Applications are open year long. In comparison, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application closes every June.

Calfresh offers low-income Rio Hondo College students and households assistance with purchasing nutritious food. In addition, the program is offering even more assistance during the ongoing pandemic. Rio Hondo College will begin to promote Calfresh in October. In the meantime, applications for Calfresh are always open to students and non-students.

You can apply for Calfresh here: