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For Immediate Release

Residents and Workers Affected by Glass Fire May Be Eligible for Disaster Food Benefits

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Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 13, 2020  –  Eligible Sonoma County residents and workers who experienced financial losses during the Glass Fire can supplement their food budgets by applying for Disaster CalFresh food benefits between November 16-20 online or in-person with the Sonoma County Human Services Department Economic Assistance.Individuals who received CalFresh during September are not eligible.

To be eligible, individuals must have lived or worked in Sonoma County during the Glass Fire, between September 27 and October 26, 2020. During that period, applicant households must have:

1) included one or more persons who don’t receive CalFresh food benefits in the month of September, and

2) lost income or spent money due to the fire that they won’t get back, such as losing food they already had, paying for temporary shelter or other evacuation expenses, such as a hotel, gas, new household items (toiletries or clothes) or paying to clean up or fix damage to a home or business, and

3) met disaster-based income requirements. 

Applicants can apply in several ways between November 16-20 only:

  • Complete and submit an online application at mybenefitscalwin.org. Click on the Disaster CalFresh button to get started.
  • Download an application from the Economic Assistance Disaster CalFresh webpage that they can print and complete, then submit by FAX or in-person at the Economic Assistance office.
  • Get a paper application by visiting the Economic Assistance office.

Economic Assistance is open 8 a.m.-noon, Monday-Friday, at 2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa. For contactless submission of completed applications, a secure, document drop box is available outside the office.

Households who need assistance completing the application can call (877) 699-6868. However, due to high call volume, wait times can be extremely long.

After the application has been submitted, residents and workers must also complete a phone interview. Economic Assistance staff will call applicants between November 16-20. 

If the application is approved, funds to purchase food will be added to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Like a debit card, EBT cards can be used at grocery stores and other authorized retailers. If approved, Economic Assistance staff will tell applicants when and where to pick up their EBT card. 

For details and more information about Disaster CalFresh, visit the Economic Assistance webpage at SonomaCalFresh.org or the California Department of Social Services webpage at www.cdss.ca.gov/disastercalfresh1.

Anyone who needs food immediately can dial 2-1-1 for a list of agencies that can help.

Disaster CalFresh food benefits programs are administered by the Sonoma County Human Services Economic Assistance Division, which oversees the year-round CalFresh program for the State of California. Known as CalFresh in California, this food and nutrition program is part of a federal government program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Disaster CalFresh, also known as D-CalFresh or D-SNAP, is an emergency food benefit that provides temporary food benefits to disaster victims following a flood, fire, earthquake or other types of natural disasters. Benefits are available only after a Presidential Declaration of Disaster with Individual Assistance has been approved or the State of California has been approved by the federal government to operate a Disaster CalFresh program. For additional information about Disaster CalFresh, visit www.cdss.ca.gov/disastercalfresh1.