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.

An electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card is used like a debit card at most grocery stores and farmers' markets.

Could You Be Eligible?

What is your living situation? Who do you purchase and prepare food with? Use this to determine household.

Does your household meet the income eligibility in the chart? If so, go to next question.

Does your household include US citizens and/or lawful permanent residents (LPRs)? If so, go to next question.

Does anyone in your household receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in California? If so, you (or your household member) are NOT eligible for CalFresh benefits (others in household still may be).

Is anyone in your household provided more than half (11 or more) of their meals per week from another source? If so, you may NOT be eligible for CalFresh.

Is anyone in your household a college student? If so, please see following section for additional eligibility requirements.

People in Household

Gross Monthly Income

Maximum CalFresh Allotment*

























Household = a person living alone or a group of people living together (they do not have to be related) who buy food and make meals together. * Minimum amount is $16/month

    *These income guidelines are effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017, and are updated every October.
    *Individuals receiving SSI/SSP in California are not eligible for CalFresh, but other members of the household may be.

If you are a college student between the ages of 18 and 49, enrolled in at least 6 units (or half-time as defined by your campus), you also need to meet AT LEAST ONE of the following student eligibility bullet points:

  • Working and getting paid for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average
  • Approved (or awarded or accepted) for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and have not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible even if a work study job has not begun or is not currently available)
  • Students attending CSU or UC, receiving Cal Grant A OR B, and falling within the following qualifications: un-married; AND 25 years of age or younger; AND household income less than $50,000
  • Enrolled in a state funded program that increases employability (EOP, EOPS, WIOA, DSPS, CARE, UC McNair, Puente Project, or MESA) ***
  • Enrolled in a program that increases employability for current and former foster youth (Guardian Scholars, FYSI, CAFYES, ETV or Extended Foster Care) ***
  • Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis) OR are a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of CalWORKs or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)


Other things to Consider:

  • If 17 or younger or 50 or older OR enrolled in less than 6 units, students only need to meet basic eligibility
  • Students who live with their parents must be 22 years of age or older to apply as an individual household
  • International, DACA, and DREAM students have been shown to not be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN
  • Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh if they are residing in California for the school year
  • Students with a state certified disability only need to meet basic eligibility

***For latest list of updated approved programs that increase employability, please see

For program descriptions, please see ACL 17-05


This web page was funded by USDA, SNAP, known in California as CalFresh, an equal opportunity provider and employer, and the California Department of Social Services.

Drop-in Assistance

Tuesday 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Wednesdays 9:00am - 1:00pm

Appointment Times:

Mondays 9:00am - 4:00pm
Tuesdays 10:00am - 12:00pm
Wednesdays 1:00pm - 4:00pm

CalFresh Application Assistance is located in Lassen 3008
Phone number: 916-400-9027
Email: calfreshsacstate@gmail.com