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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.
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.
Effective October 1, 2021:
No. Many recipients of CalFresh are employed, elderly or disabled who need assistance purchasing nutritional food.
If you qualify for CalFresh, you should receive benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application. If you have very little or no income and less than $100 in cash, you may be eligible to receive CalFresh within 3 days.
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:
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 an application.Step 2: Talk to a staff member and get an appointment.Step 3: Have an interview (usually on the phone but can be in person if you choose).Step 4: Turn in any proof we need (upload it, mail it, or drop it off).Step 5: The Eligibility Worker 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.