CalFresh Food

Every month the Food Security Project puts out a newsletter called the Hungry Times. You can find archived versions of this newsletter below:

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help many people afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets. CalFresh is the name of the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the state of California. Recipients receive and “spend” CalFresh benefits electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.

What is CalFresh Outreach (CFO)?

The CalFresh Outreach Program is funded through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and is implemented in partnership with county social services offices. It assists people through the entire CalFresh application process, including assistance with the application itself, obtaining verification documents, navigating the 30-day application period, as well as the renewal process.

Where do I go for Assistance?

The Student Cupboard offers application assistance when open. You can drop-in or make an appointment.  

Basic Eligibility

You can find basic eligibility information on the Center for Healthy Communities CFO website

Student Eligibility

You can find student eligibility information on the Center for Healthy Communities CFO website

Application Process

Step 1: Complete the CalFresh Interest Form on your Student Portal, or come into the Student Cupboard when we are opened to have a member of our team go through the pre-screen process with you. 

Step 2: If you think you may be eligible, complete and submit an application with your CalFresh Outreach Team. Although the application is available online, we encourage you to apply online with the help of your CalFresh Outreach Team because they are very familiar with the questions and will likely get you through the application faster.

Step 3: Once the application is received by the county, your 30-day application period begins.

Step 4: During this 30 day period, you will need to do the following:

  • Complete your INTERVIEW with the county office by phone or in person (The county office will either call or mail you a date and time for your interview)
  • Let your CalFresh Outreach Team know if you have not heard from the county within the first 7 days

Step 5: You will then be required to provide verification documents to your county office. This must also be completed during the 30 day period. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit verification documents that meet their requirements.

Examples of verification documentation include:

  • Copy of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Utility Bill
  • Pay stubs
  • Financial aid award letter and schedule (if a student)

Step 6: In order to keep your CalFresh benefits, you will be required to do the following:

  • Complete a Semiannual Report (called a SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. They County will let you know when this is due.
  • Complete a Recertification Application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period. The County will let you know when your Recertification Application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your interview. Most interviews will be conducted over the phone.