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SNAP Reduction Poised to Hit 12 Percent of San Francisco Residents

Plus a Chez Panisse cook is selling pizza curbside and more food news

A pop-up food pantry at Mission High School in San Francisco SF-Marin Food Bank
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service ended its COVID-induced additional food assistance bonuses on Tuesday, February 28. The bump in funding allowed recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to receive at least an extra $95 a month. Axios reports the roughly 12 percent of San Franciscans on the program will collectively lose about $11.5 million a month once the benefits end.

CalFresh, California’s specific application of the SNAP program, is an important program for many struggling to get by with the Bay Area’s high cost of living. Some recipients will lose a maximum amount of $517 from the reduction in benefits. The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank wrote that these reductions actually further harm food banks which are already hurting right now, as inflation has already taken a hit on their typical donation reserves. The government will pay the additional stipends through the end of March.

Castro gains an Indian restaurant and loses a sushi bar

The Castro has seen a lot of new faces and sad departures to its small business community, and Hoodline reports the changes keep coming with an opening and a closing. The two-month-old Castro Restaurant & Brewhouse is reopening as the Castro Indian Restaurant & Bar in the same location at 468 Castro Street in the last week of February, whereas Niji Japanese Sushi & Bar closed after just three months in service.

Ube-laden SoCal chain expands to Peninsula

Cafe 86, a small-ish restaurant chain with ube-tastic treats including ube crinkle cookies and ube tres leches cakes, just opened a new outpost in Mountain View. The Peninsula Foodist reports another location will debut in Daly City soon, with another location in Union City already open.

Former Chez Panisse cook sells pizza out of a pickup

A mobile pizza pop-up utilizing a 1989 Ford pickup and a wood-fired oven just opened in the East Bay. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Urelio’s, run by former Chez Panisse cook Sam Ciccarelli, is poised to join the already-impressive Berkeley pizza universe.