Sonoma County residents and workers impacted by recent fires may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh benefits to provide funds for food purchases under temporary regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP).
Disaster CalFresh applications will be taken at the following County of Sonoma Human Services Department Economic Assistance offices from Wednesday, October 25 through Wednesday, November 1, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Additional hours may be added):
· 2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa
· 520 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, and
· Human Services South County Center, 5350 Old Redwood Highway, Petaluma.
The CalFresh program issues a benefit amount, based on household income, to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The card can be used like a debit card at participating food outlets and farmers markets.
To request information about new or current CalFresh, Medi-Cal or CalWORKs benefits, call (844) 719-8808. After November 1, residents may continue to apply for regular CalFresh during regular County business hours and online at www.mybenefitscalwin.org/.
Disaster CalFresh benefits are available to many residents, regardless of immigration status, who lived or worked in Sonoma County during the fires that started on October 8, 2017, who:
- Lost a home or business
- Lost income (such as not being able to go to work)
- Lost food (such as experiencing a power outage of four hours or more)
- Had disaster-related expenses that will not be reimbursed (such as repairs, temporary housing, or evacuation expenses)
Income limits are temporarily increased under Disaster CalFresh (see chart below). Residents who are under or near these income amounts can contact Economic Assistance, as certain deductions may make them eligible for help.
Proof of identity and an in-person interview are required to complete an application. Identification may be a driver's license or other picture ID. If a picture ID is unavailable, utility bills or other similar documents are accepted. Applicants must also bring a document that verifies that their home address or work location was in the disaster area prior to October 8, 2017 (such as utility bills, insurance bills, paystubs, etc.).
In addition, temporary regulations also allow Sonoma County households may use SNAP/CalFresh EBT cards to purchase hot foods and hot foods ready for consumption temporarily through November 15, 2017.
Some households affected by fires already receiving CalFresh, Medi-Cal or CalWORKs will automatically receive up to the maximum Disaster CalFresh amount based on their household size on their EBT cards. For info: 1-844-719-8808.