Below are information and resources available for older adults and those who care for them.
Older people are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness. We also know that many low-income older adults need help to put healthy food on the table. While food insecurity has steadily been declining among California’s general population, the number of older Californians with limited, uncertain, or inconsistent access to the quality and quantity of food they need to live a healthy life continues to grow at an alarming rate. The COVID-19 crisis is only hastening and exacerbating these trends.
CFPA and our state and federal partners and administrators are working hard to ensure that nutrition programs can reach low-income older adults in the during the public health emergency. Below, please find links to trusted resources that can help inform and connect older adults with the nutrition resources they need to weather this crisis and continue to age in place.
- CA Department of Aging: COVID-19 updates and response webpage
- CalMatters Webinar: CA Department of Aging Director Kim McCoy Wade—Coronavirus and Seniors
- Administration for Community Living (ACL): “What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know?”
- USDA Food & Nutrition Service: “Current list of SNAP/CalFresh waivers approved for California”
CalFresh Updates for Older Adults
CalFresh is California’s food stamps (SNAP) program. Individuals can apply and get up to $194 a month per household member on an EBT card. Some county offices have closed down for in-person appointments, but continue to process CalFresh applications by phone and online. Older adults or their families can apply for CalFresh online at www.getcalfresh.org and find the contact information for their local social service agency here. With many Californians losing hours, or even jobs there has been a signficant increase in the number of individuals and families seeking assistance through CalFresh, but county offices have procedures to help households get SNAP benefits as quickly as possible. In addition, CalFresh participants who received any CalFresh benefits in March can expect to see an increase in their April monthly benefits to reflect emergency CalFresh allotments. CalFresh recipients will not need to take any action in order to receive their emergency allotment. This benefit will be automatically loaded to their EBT account. You can learn more about the emergency allotment and additional policies now in place to support households impacted by coronavirus by visiting California Food Policy Advocates’ COVID-19 Response: Nutrition Program Flexibilities Tracker.
Please stay tuned for updates on food assistance available for older adults during and following the COVID-19 public health emergency. Sign up to receive updates at www.cfpa.net/subscribe