Most California College Students Who Qualify for ‘Food Stamps’ Aren’t Using Them

Cheyann Wakefield was frustrated the first time she tried to apply for CalFresh, the social service formerly known as food stamps.

The Fresno City College student was denied when she tried applying while attending college less than half time. Then she reapplied while working 36 hours and attending college and was only eligible for $20.

“If I don’t have enough units or work enough hours, I didn’t qualify,” she said. “It just felt like a constant cycle to get out of poverty.”

It wasn’t until she could add her child to the case that her benefits became enough to sustain them, she said. It left Wakefield feeling like the service failed her.

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