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California News

Costs of California ‘Food Stamps’ Reached Record Levels

California had more residents receiving food stamps than ever in 2022 while having the lowest unemployment rate in 46 years. In 2022, the participation of California in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program reached 4.6 million residents in July. And then in August, it fell to 4.6 million, the current month’s data is provided by the Federal Government.

In June 2020, the highest number of participants for SNAP in California was 4.8 million residents. However, California was placed under a shelter-in-place order from March to June 2020, and many businesses had to close. By May 2020, the pandemic’s highest unemployment rate in the state was 16.1%.

The lowest unemployment rate recorded in California since 1976, when online data was first accessible, was 3.8% in September 2022. In 2022-23, California approved a funding budget to approve undocumented and illegal immigrants. Those who are 55 years or above, will receive food assistance under the state program- California Food Assistance Program. It is different from the federally funded SNAP program.

Due to COVID-19, California has provided SNAP users with additional funding. In October, Governor- Gavin Newsom declared, the COVID-19 state of emergency will end on 28 February 2023. Before the state of emergency was declared in March 2020, the monthly cost of the SNAP program per person was $123.22; by August 2022, it was $277.12. The August 2022 benefit of $277.12 is California’s highest for the federal SNAP program.

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