Approximately $182 million worth of food assistance will not be used

A recent California audit found that $182 million in pandemic-related food assistance went unused.

Reports indicate that up to 500,000 grant cards went unused during the 2019-2020 school year.

Millions of dollars in pandemic aid went unused in California


Millions of dollars in pandemic aid went unused in CaliforniaCredit: © Bloomberg Finance LP 2020

NS audit made by California state and analysis of federal funds use by the California Department of Social Services.

The two food aid programs mentioned are the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) card and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as the Pandemic. food stamps.

In California, SNAP is also known as CalFresh.

What food assistance programs were analyzed?

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer cards were made available to families with school-age children who were eligible for free or heavily discounted meals but were unable to receive them during Covid epidemic.

These benefits are also available to families with children under the age of six who also received CalFresh benefits between October 2020 and August 2021.

CalFresh applies to low-income households that need assistance with grocery shopping.

These programs are administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

What has the state recommended?

Elaine Howle, who conducted the audit, made several recommendations regarding funding.

“CDSS has effectively overseen the distribution of additional SNAP payments, and it was initially successful in rapidly distributing P-EBT payments during the early months of the pandemic,” Ms Howle wrote.

“However, CDSS did not provide additional P-EBT payments in a timely manner.

“Families have had to wait an average of more than 200 days to receive missed meal replacement payments from the 2020–21 school year.

“CDSS can reduce the risk of families inadvertently missing out on P-EBT payments by notifying schools when families are not using their payments and encouraging schools to track down payments. that family.”

How can I get my benefits?

If you qualify in California, there are several steps you can take to ensure you receive your P-EBT card.

First, you want to make sure you’re signed up for CalFresh, as well as your kids’ free and reduced lunches.

Keep your address up to date, and if an update is needed, you can do so via the CalFresh website.

The cards have reportedly been sent out since mid-August and will continue to be mailed through November.

We explain what you need to know about food stamps – and how to apply.

Plus, this is three times discount you can get by EBT card.

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