Sun shrouded by billowing smoke from the Valley Fire. Courtesy Cal Fire

Individuals and families impacted by the Valley Fire may be eligible to receive food benefits as part of continuing disaster recovery efforts, the California Department of Social Services announced Monday.

A family of four with a monthly income up to $2,893 potentially can receive up to $646 in food benefits through the Disaster CalFresh program, which is available to those who lived or worked in an area affected by the 17,565-acre blaze between Sept. 5 and Oct. 4, according to the state agency.

Those impacted by the Japatul Valley-area wildfire may be eligible for the benefits if their household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the wildfire:

  • at least one family member was not yet getting regular CalFresh food benefits
  • money was spent because of the wildfire or a related power outage
  • money was lost from work because of the wildfires
  • money was spent because of damage to a home or business

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Disaster CalFresh program will be operated, for the first time, primarily by telephone.

Households may apply from Nov. 16-20 by dialing 211, or by submitting an application online at mybenefitscalwin.org.

In most cases, Disaster CalFresh food benefits — provided on an electronic benefits-transfer card — will be available within three days of the date of a qualifying interview, according to CDSS public affairs.

Further information is available at www.cdss.ca.gov/disastercalfresh1.

— City News Service