CalFresh recipients may struggle to put Thanksgiving feast on table this year

Photo from USDA food blog shows a refrigerator stocked with many items that CalFresh recipients may not be able to buy, such as red peppers, eggs, olives, and assorted condiments.

USDA/U.S. Government work

Photo from USDA food blog shows a refrigerator stocked with many items that CalFresh recipients may not be able to buy, such as red peppers, eggs, olives, and assorted condiments.

Aleah Jennings-Newhouse, Staff Writer

This Thanksgiving, California families receiving CalFresh food benefits will have an even tougher time stretching their money to fill a cart at the grocery store. CalFresh benefits were reduced Nov. 1 as a result of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The act initially increased the maximum CalFresh allotment for families, but the boost was rolled back by the California Department of Social Services on Oct. 1. New cuts vary depending on the size of a household, though a family of four will receive at most $632 for the month of November, $36 less than in previous years. This means that on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, CalFresh recipients will have $21 to purchase a meal for a holiday that is known to induce food comas.

With a Safeway Club Card, $21 can buy a three-pound turkey roast, a 14.5-ounce can of green beans, a four-ounce box of dehydrated mashed potatoes, and a 36-ounce frozen pumpkin pie.

Forget about the gravy and the cranberry sauce. A household would have to skip breakfast and lunch to pay for that traditional meal.