State Tries to Find More Food Stamp Takers

With the state facing a $15.4 billion budget shortfall, social programs across California are cutting costs by limiting eligibility. So why are state lawmakers voting to enroll more people in CalFresh, the state’s food stamp program, if there’s not enough money to go around?Lawmakers say an expanded food stamp program may actually help improve the economy at no cost to the state’s ailing general fund – though taxpayers in California and elsewhere will continue to foot the bill for the federally funded program. Emergency food assistance benefits like CalFresh are funded entirely by the federal government, which generally requires changes within the system to be cost-neutral to state governments, making food-stamp legislation popular during times of economic downturn. State and local governments bear the costs of administering the program.

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