Help for Communities Affected by Drought
Droughts are one of the most costly natural disasters affecting our country. As of June, the National Drought Outlook and U.S. Drought Monitor reported that about 35 percent of the U.S. is in moderate to exceptional drought levels with peak levels in the West Coast (California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona). In particular, the state of California is experiencing extended drought levels, which is threatening entire communities in addition to survival of crops and livestock.

Federally sponsored food assistance programs are currently working to counteract crop shortages as a result of droughts across the West Coast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided emergency grants and aid to rural communities that are under drought disaster warnings.

If you or someone you know is an agricultural producer, Benefits.gov is sharing the following resources that can help aid in recovery from a drought:
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program - Provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occur due to a natural disaster.

Emergency Conservation Program for Agricultural Producers - Provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for implementing emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
The government offers programs that provide emergency assistance and monthly benefits to individuals experiencing food access problems due to the drought situation in California. If you or your loved ones are impacted, you may be interested in the following programs:
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) - Helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. Foods are provided for home consumption (e.g., a bag of groceries) or as a prepared meal (e.g, a soup kitchen).

CalFresh - Provides monthly benefits to assist low-income households in purchasing the food they need to maintain adequate nutritional levels. In general, these benefits are for any food or food product intended for human consumption.

CalWORKs - Provides cash aid and services to eligible needy California families. The program serves all 58 counties in the state and is operated locally by county welfare departments. If a family has little or no cash and needs housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care, it may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help.

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) - Provides USDA foods to low-income households on participating Indian reservations and to American Indian households residing in approved areas near reservations or in Oklahoma.
To locate benefits for your state, we encourage you to Search by State on Benefits.gov. Once on the page, you can select your state from the interactive map to view a list of benefit programs that may be available to you. You can also visit DisasterAssistance.gov to view additional information about Drought Preparedness and Water Conservation.

Benefits.gov wants to help our American families prepare for and recover after drought season. Click on "Start Benefit Finder" on the Benefits.gov homepage to see what benefit and assistance programs you may be eligible for.