Imperial Valley Press

Imperial Valley Food Bank prepares for end of Emergency Allotments of CalFresh


IMPERIAL – Families enrolled in the state’s CalFresh program, known federally as the Supplement­al Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will soon notice a decrease in their food benefits this March following the end of emergency allotments nationwide.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these emergency allotment benefits temporaril­y provided each family in the CalFresh program with additional funding for food assistance, according to a press release.

“As a result of inflation’s impact on the cost of food, we have noticed a similar number of people receiving monthly food assistance this year as were during the pandemic,” said Sara Griffen, Executive Director of the Imperial Valley Food Bank. “With less food donations coming in and more people needing support, these benefit cuts have come at a very difficult time.”

The emergency allotments kept 4.2 million people out of poverty in the last quarter of 2021, mostly helping the Black and Latino population, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, per the release.

More than 41 million people across the country will be affected by this change, as every household will receive at least $95 less a month, while others will see their households’ benefits reduced by as much as $258, according to the California Associatio­n of Food Banks.

Advocates fear the end of emergency allotments will drive millions of people to a “hunger cliff,” and many predict food banks and pantries will be flooded with people looking to make up for their reduced CalFresh benefits.

“Five million California­ns receiving CalFresh will see a dramatic and sudden drop in their food benefits, totaling more than $500 million per month,” noted the California Associatio­n of Food Banks. “This represents a loss of up to $900 million in local economic activity per month.”

In addition to preventing food insecurity and keeping people out of poverty, CalFresh benefits also promote local consumer spending in grocery stores. For this reason, advocates predict that the end of emergency allotments will have economic consequenc­es, per the release.

With the CalFresh benefits being cut, the Imperial Valley Food Bank is expecting an influx of Imperial County residents who may now need monthly food assistance, according to the release.

“If you would like to help the food bank respond to the community’s hunger needs, please consider donating online at,” the release reads.

Additional­ly, individual­s with questions about CalFresh benefits and the end of emergency allotments can speak with the Imperial Valley Food Bank’s bilingual CalFresh Outreach team by phone at (760) 370-0966.

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