Thousands of Long Beach residents could qualify under historic CalFresh expansion

Low-income seniors and disabled individuals who receive federal and state welfare benefits will become eligible for CalFresh food benefits Saturday and can apply for help by phone today.

Los Angeles County authorities estimate that more than 240,000 low-income seniors and disabled individuals will benefit from expansion of the program, more commonly known as food stamps.

In Long Beach, that could mean an estimated 39,946 residents.

Given the numbers, the county setup a call center to handle applications and officials said nearly three-quarters of requests can be processed on the same day.

Applying for the food program will not affect the amount of other benefits received, according to Department of Public Social Services Director Antonia Jimenez.

“The expansion of the CalFresh Program will help our department serve the county’s most vulnerable and food-insecure populations,” Jimenez said.

County residents can contact the call center at 866-613-3777, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a customer service agent will collect all the necessary information. Applications can also be completed online at www.GetCalFresh.org from any computer or mobile device. The simplified application should take about eight minutes to fill out, according to DPSS.

“Because we understand that seniors and disabled residents face transportation and mobility challenges, we have developed these two options to serve them in the comfort of their own homes,” Jimenez said.

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