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Households can use CalFresh to buy any food or food product for human consumption as well as seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food. Households cannot buy:
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CalFresh is California's version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that provides assistance for households to purchase nutritious food. The program uses Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to allow recipients to buy food (including seeds and seedlings to grow food) at retail stores and farmers markets using a plastic debit card. Visit the Official California CalFresh Site.
Emergency Food Resources – click here for a list of emergency food resources.
If the County decides that you do not meet the expedited services criteria and you disagree, you can ask for request a face-to-face meeting with an eligibility supervisor to talk about whether your household meets expedited services criteria. We will schedule the meeting within two working days unless you need a later appointment or we cannot contact you to schedule the meeting. If we can’t reach you, we will keep processing your application.
CalFresh looks at gross income (before taxes), program deductions, and certain household expenses. An eligibility specialist will talk to you about your income and help you identify allowable expenses.
CalFresh Income Eligibility Standards for Federal Fiscal Year 2023Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023
No. Many recipients of CalFresh are employed, elderly or disabled who need assistance purchasing nutritional food.
The county will process your application as fast as it can. You may be eligible to receive CalFresh within 3 days if you meet the expedited services criteria. Otherwise, you will have benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application.
A household qualifies for expedited service if it:
Most resources including cars, cash, and bank accounts are not counted in the CalFresh Program. An eligibility worker can answer any other question you have.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines permit immigrants and their children to use certain non-cash benefits and special purpose cash benefits without affecting their immigration status including:
Some of the above programs may provide cash benefits. The purpose of such benefits is not for income maintenance but rather to avoid the need for on-going cash assistance for income maintenance; therefore, they are not subject to public charge consideration. Important Notice to Immigrants
The Application Process
Step 1: Complete and turn in an application. You can apply online at BenefitsCal.com, mail it, fax it or drop it off in person at any office.
Mailing address for all offices:
Self Sufficiency Services2751 Napa Valley Corporate DriveNapa CA 94558
Step 2: Have an interview (usually on the phone but it can be in person if you want).
Step 3: Turn in any proof we need. You can upload it to BenefitsCal, mail it, fax it, or drop it off in person at any office (see Step 1 for addresses).
Step 4: The Eligibility Specialist sees if you are eligible for benefits. If you are, benefits are added to your EBT card. You can get a new card in the office or by mail if you need one.
Once you are receiving CalFresh, you have to report substantial winnings within 10 calendar days of receiving the winnings. This mid-period reporting requirement is in addition to existing mid-period reporting requirements. Your household will lose CalFresh benefits if the winnings are considered substantial. You can reapply any time after being discontinued.
Substantial lottery winnings are a cash prize won in a single game, purchase of a ticket, hand, or similar bet, which is at least $3,750 before taxes or other withholding.