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April 9, 2021

Up to 40,000 Students in Riverside County
Are Now Eligible for CalFresh Benefits


Riverside Community College District students make up the largest contingency of students receiving CalFresh benefits in the county. Combined the three colleges have 669 students receiving assistance.

Yet, nearly 40,000 college students in Riverside County are eligible for CalFresh. Officials say less than 10 percent of eligible students in the county have signed up. Congress temporarily expanded food assistance to college students in January's pandemic relief package, said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director of the Department of Public Social Services.

"We want to make sure our local students know this help is available. They should not have to worry about being able to afford their next meal," Gonzalez said. "Our caseworkers are ready to see if they are eligible and enroll them."

Hunger and food insecurity are widespread on college campuses and impact as many as one in three students, according to a survey by the California Student Aid Commission. Qualifying CalFresh students receive a monthly benefit of $234.

Signing up involves checking on eligibility criteria and filling out an online application. If approved, the student will receive the food benefit within 30 days. Students who feel they might qualify can ask for assistance through their college campus or can apply online directly at