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In the wake of the fires that swept across Northern California in October, CalFresh benefits used to fund food purchases for those who qualify have been expanded to include qualifying applicants affected by the fire.

On Tuesday, the Sonoma County Human Services Department announced 2,118 applications were submitted for such benefits, with nearly $1.5 million handed out to Sonoma County residents through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The emergency allotments — one-time installments — were dispersed to qualifying applicants through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, a debit-like card that can be used at grocery stores and other approved retailers.

Households new to CalFresh received $522,389 in benefits, while previously enrolled clients were allotted an additional $927,465, a news release from the human services department said.

CalFresh benefits were expanded to include fire- affected residents, regardless of immigration status, who lost a home, business, income or food, or had disaster-related expenses that will not be reimbursed, including repairs, temporary housing or evacuation costs.

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or christi.warren@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @SeaWarren.