COVID’s not over – so why is pandemic unemployment assistance ending?

Published on Sep 3, 2021 in CalFresh

Federal unemployment benefit programs made possible by the CARES Act are ending on September 4th, 2021. Millions of workers will lose the supplementary unemployment cash they now receive on top of their existing unemployment assistance. That means the extra $300 on top of standard unemployment workers can use to buy food is ending.

Young Children, Fact Sheet Image #1

Why This Matters

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is still surging and still putting workers at risk. And yet, assistance designed to help workers manage the worst effects of the pandemic are ending. California is the most impacted state affected by this change. An estimated 2.2 million Californians will lose their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

We believe that everyone in California should have enough to eat. But this weekend, millions of Californians will lose the resources they need to access food.

A couple shopping for food

There's Hope

With benefits ending, there will be a steep increase in people in need of additional supports. It’s important that workers know what they need to do to secure this extra support for themselves and their families, which are getting a 21% increase this October.

We need to make sure Californians know they’re eligible for the CalFresh program and we need to ask Congress to prioritize investments in nutrition in recovery legislation.

How You Can Help

cheerful young students having fun

Share this news
Help spread the word that CalFresh is an available support with friends, family, and members in your community who might be affected.


Girl is hugging her baby sister who is eating water melon

Donate to Nourish California
Every day, we shape the programs and policies that connect – but sometimes stand between – people and the food they need to thrive.



Write your representatives
Go to our action center to ask members of congress to prioritize nutrition investments in recovery legislation.