In an interview with SFGate, Berkeley student Esteban Vasquez summed up just how much food stamps have eased the strain on his wallet. "It's a huge sigh of relief knowing I can walk into a grocery store," he told the publication, "and purchase the items I need."
The publication reported that there is an acceptance rate of approximately 73 percent to obtain food stamps as part of the CalFresh program, an increase from 62 percent in 2015.
But U.C. Berkeley students aren't the only ones in need of assistance to afford food. The SFGate article noted the following:
A University of California survey of 9,000 students across all 10 campuses shed light on the need in 2015: Nearly 1 in 5 students, 19 percent, said they had too little to eat "due to limited resources." Another 23 percent routinely ate substandard food with little variation.
According to a document for CalFresh on UC Berkeley's website, students must meet a number of requirements in order to be eligible for food stamps. These include meeting a maximum monthly income, being a U.S. citizen, being enrolled as a student (at least half-time) and working a minimum of 80 hours per month.
The Alameda County Social Services Agency listed $1,980 as the monthly maximum gross income for an individual to be eligible for the benefit.