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CalFresh to Begin Online Delivery Pilot Program on April 28th

Food Stamp recipients to receive a limited delivery option as stay-at-home orders continue

By Evan Symon, April 22, 2020 5:49 pm

The Calfresh program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps, has announced that a home delivery option will be available for those under the program starting April 28th.

CalFresh. (Photo: California DSS)

Both California and Arizona had an emergency request approved by the federal government earlier this month to approve the pilot program in lieu of state lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. California now joins 14 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing such deliveries.

“People under SNAP, WIC, CalFresh, and TANF, they’ve been seriously at risk during this whole pandemic,” said San Diego grocery store manager Mark Irving. “People with more money can afford to have Instacart come or get food delivered by us or Amazon, or have a pick-up with Walmart. But you can’t do that with benefits. Even some in unemployment because of the debit cards they give not always working for online orders.”

“People with these benefits have to go out and shop. And they face greater exposure risks, just like my employees here, and they also face limited food choices, especially those using WIC, as baby stuff tends to run out faster than usual now.”

“This is good, even if they can’t do online orders here. They’re safer if they choose to do this. At least from where I can see. The only thing is that some of the money might go to delivery fees, and that may set them back some.”

While the pilot program will expand to allow for online orders, those under CalFresh who choose this option face several limitations. Under the pilot program only two retailers, Walmart and Amazon, have been approved thus far. There is also a minimum of $35 for online delivery orders as well as a delivery fee, which eats up more of the SNAP funds.

There have also been concerns over what people may or may not buy due to current SNAP limits, although current limits on what may or may not be bought is still expected to be enforced. This includes products such as tobacco, alcohol, paper products, soap, and household supplies.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been a major supporter of home deliveries for SNAP participants and hopes that it will help expand social distancing to keep not only SNAP recipients safer, but also grocery store workers facing fewer customers during lockdowns.

“Grocery pickup is already an option that these retailers offer beyond SNAP so they are already thinking through how they can provide a safe environment to do so with the growing concerns around social distancing,” said the USDA in a statement.

While the program is expected to continue throughout the coronavirus lockdown, it is unknown if any expansion to other grocery chains or services such as Instacart would be added during the pilot program length.

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13 thoughts on “CalFresh to Begin Online Delivery Pilot Program on April 28th

    1. Yes. The county in which you reside has the ability to accept applications online. Actually a lot of us have been processing applications over the phone and answering questions as we go. Contact your local agency to get more info!

    2. I had it one time for many years ,but the last 6 months I been in the hospital in and out I lost my memory and very confuse I probably was I need a SLIVER AREwas going to die the doctors told my wife that so on 3-22- 2020 ,San Francisco Liver Transplant Hospital call me at 3 in the morning and said come on down we have a new Liver for u Michael,I said ok I started to cry my 3 boys was there they where crying with me they said here’s ur second chance DAD , I just thank the Lord for this every day ,I fill real good am still in the hospital in San Francisco Francisco so I lost my food stamps they send me a letter to fill out but I never did she they stop my food stamps , I need food and am on SSI can u help me , I would really appreciate it Thank U , Michael

  1. I just applied for food stamp that I really needed when I checked the card 22.00 what can I buy. Can’t get a day supply of food

    1. You will most likely get the full amount next month, usually what they do is pro-rate the amount you get initially depending on how many days are left in the month, so if you just got approved in the last few days, that would be why there is such a small amount. I hope when you receive your benefits next month it is the amount you were expecting, if not you may unfortunately need to call them which I have heard it is difficult right now, but someone will still be able to help you if it is still an issue. I’m sorry I know that doesn’t help you much right now but hopefully next month will be much better! Take care and God Bless.

    2. If you just applied that is a prorated amount for the month in which you applied. Basically the max monthly allotment for CA is $194, if applied for on the 1st of the month and with little to no income. Every day after the 1st you are losing $4-6 in benefits. Applying on or around the 25th of this month would get you about $22. You should get your full allotment for May on your pick up date.

  2. I just wanted to let the Author know that you have always been able to use your CalFresh (or foodstamps) on Amazon but they only delivered fresh groceries within a certain range of their shipping facilities. Any further and the foods will not survive the trip. We never pushed the Amazon info to our clients because of this issue. Thank you for sharing this new info though!! (Eligibility Worker for LA County DPSS)

  3. I am a recipie t of. Cal fresh and did receive an increase in April? Is this a temporary increase? Only until the the pandemic is over ? For how many months will we receive the new increase?

  4. I applied for CalFresh in Imperial County California over two weeks ago have not heard anything I uploaded my driver’s license my social security card in my old EBT card from two years ago when it expired in still have not heard anything and no food is bad and I did and I am homeless why is that? I know they are backed up because of the pandemic if I it is supposed to be 3 days if you are homeless and 10 days to hear back from them still it’s been over 20 days and I have not heard anything there’s no money on the food card it is very frustrating especially since it is difficult to get food in the first place

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