The number of people in San Luis Obispo County applying for a federal program that provides food to the needy has zoomed upward, according to the county’s social services director, and even with that increase, thousands of people who could receive the benefit are not applying.
Department of Social Services Director Lee Collins said that in January the county provided CalFresh benefits to 6,360 households — not including 1,428 households in which CalFresh benefits are provided as part of a CalWORKS grant. Those 6,360 households included 12,196 people.
The average monthly caseload this fiscal year, Collins added, is up 29.5 percent from last year, 72.5 percent from two years ago and up 152.6 percent from four years ago.
“The caseload has skyrocketed over the last few years, since the recession sunk in,” Collins said.
CalFresh formerly was known as food stamps.
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