All About CalFresh
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All About CalFresh

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 6:12 am
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The CalFresh Program is a a supplemental program that is specific to the state of California.  It is the California State version of the SNAP program.  SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  It is a federal program that goes by different names, and that has somewhat different details, for each state.
The SNAP program used to be called the Food Stamps program.  Originally, food stamps were issued to needy people.  This was long before people could Print Grocery coupons  or receive Coupons in the mail.  Today, people receive their monthly benefits from the CalFresh Program through an electronic benefits card.  The CalFresh program is designed to improve the health and well-being of the households and individuals who qualify for it, by providing them with a way to meet their nutritional needs.

There are several eligibility requirements for CalFresh.  The program is available to citizens of the United States.  Some non-citizens may be eligible as well, but it helps if the person is a legal immigrant.  A person must have lived in the country for five years, or must be receiving disability related benefits, or must be a child under the age of 18.  If you don’t qualify for CalFresh, it is possible that someone else in your household will.

A person’s income is considered.  There is a limit that is based upon the number of people who live in the household.  For example, a single person who has a net income of $903 would be eligible.  If there are four people in the household, then their net income must be below $1,838 in order to be eligible.  You can have up to $2,000 in savings assets.

Certain types of income are exempt from being considered.  For example “In-Kind Benefits” are benefits that are not in the form of money.  This means that you can safely Print Grocery coupons or receive Coupons in the mail without having to worry about being disqualified from the CalFresh program for using them.  Other resources, like your personal property, stocks, and the money in your savings account, will be considered.

Recipients of CalFresh, who are between the ages of 18 and 49, must work an average of 20 hours per week in order to stay on the program.  All adults in the program will be fingerprinted, and must be able to provide a photo image of themselves when they apply to CalFresh.

CalFresh includes all foods that are designed for human consumption, and seeds and plants to grow food for your family to eat.  Those of you who like to Print Grocery coupons of your favorite brands can still use them.  You cannot purchase pet food, soap, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or medicines with CalFresh.  If you get Coupons in the mail for these types of products, I would recommend that you use them.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.