SANTA ANA, California. Santa Ana’s 20,000 poorest families will receive a $ 300 prepaid Visa card through the city’s new Revive Santa Ana Stimulus program.
On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to spend $ 6 million of its $ 128.3 million to fund the U.S. Rescue Plan to buy and distribute cards for the upcoming holidays, which officials say will go a long way for low-income families. affected by the PDA virus pandemic.
To qualify, families must live in an area where at least 42 percent of its residents live in poverty.
“It is incredible that we can do this, and we are happy because not many communities that need our help can do it for the residents,” Mayor Vincente Sarmiento said at a council meeting on November 16.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in my 14 years in a council where we could directly influence households and people’s lives in this way.”
The council stressed that while $ 300 will not change anyone’s life, it will go to fund basic basic services like gasoline and groceries as inflation rises.
While there are no restrictions on how the cards can be spent, residents are encouraged to spend on local businesses in Santa Ana to stimulate the local economy in what he called “double incentive.”
The city will also be running “Shop Local Stores” campaigns in conjunction with the release of the cards to guide residents to places to spend them. The cards will also say that they can be exchanged at the Santa Ana factories.
“When employees walk up to someone’s door and hand it over, it will be as touching for them as it is for the host families, because we can’t often do it,” Sarmiento said. “Besides, it’s their money; it’s public money, and I hope they can get it back and spend on things that I know will be vital to them when they go on vacation. ”
The city has issued a map showing the areas of the city where the cards will be issued, which Sarmiento has named the same areas with the highest rates of pandemic infection.
“For the overwhelming majority, this is a lifeline. To some, $ 300 may not sound like a lot, but $ 300 is the cost of gasoline from six weeks to two months, ”councilor Thai Viet Phan said during the meeting. “$ 300 is the difference between eating this month and not eating. My mom can stretch out $ 200 food stamps for over a month because that’s how she learned to survive. So $ 300 is a huge difference for families, especially those on the edge. So I’m really happy to see such a program. “
Some council members criticized the use of plastic cards due to environmental concerns. Therefore, in future programs, employees may consider using other forms of payment.