CalFresh expansion adds 4,700 to food stamps in Tulare County

The CalFresh food program is expanding statewide, the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency announced Tuesday.  That means more are joining the state’s food stamps program.

Qualifying individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income or State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) benefits will start receiving CalFresh benefits beginning June 1, 2019. SSI/SSP benefits will not change with the expansion.

“A tremendous change in legislation means we can now provide CalFresh benefits to SSI recipients for the first time,” stated Vienna Barnes, Deputy Director, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, TulareWORKs. “The change helps individuals and families to stretch their budgets to buy nutritious food.”

SSI/SSP recipients can apply online at or at a local county office after June 1. CalFresh expects to serve around 7,400 newly eligible SSI recipients in Tulare County, the agency said.

About 47,900 families in Tulare County participate in CalFresh, the agency said.

SSI is a needs-based program that provides a monthly benefit to individuals who are blind, elderly, or have a disability.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at