The CalFresh food assistance program offers help for low income families and individuals in California
Chelsea Hylton | Contributed
CalFresh, California’s largest food assistance program, helps provide low-income families and individuals who meet federal income eligibility rules with monthly food benefits.
The program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, seeks to improve the nutrition of low-income families and individuals. The goal of the program is to increase purchasing power so household food needs can be met.
Here is more information about how you can access the CalFresh program.
Where can I apply for CalFresh?
The CalFresh application can be accessed online by clicking here.
It can also be accessed by calling the Customer Service Center (CSC) at 866-613-3777, Monday through Friday, between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Someone can assist you in filling out the application.
The application can also be accessed by visiting any Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) district office or extension site.
What documents are required to apply for CalFresh?
In order to apply you will need to show proof of ID, proof of any income, and proof of immigration status (for non-U.S. citizens).
Who is eligible for CalFresh?
Californians can have some income, own a home, or own a car and still be eligible for CalFresh.
If your household’s gross income is less than $150 per month and money on hand or in the bank is less than $100, you are eligible for the CalFresh program.
You’re eligible if your household’s combined monthly gross income and available resources are less than your monthly rent or mortgage, plus utilities.
You are also eligible if you:
• Receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP)
• Receive CalWORKS or General Relief benefits
• Your household includes a migrant or seasonal farmworker, and you are homeless.
• You are a US citizen, legal resident, or an immigrant who meets certain criteria.
Half- or full-time students ages 18 to 49 at a two-year, four-year, or graduate school also may be eligible. Receiving benefits will not affect your credit score or student loans.
How long does it take to approve the CalFresh application?
An individual who submits an application can receive approval of benefits within three days of receiving the application.
If you are eligible for CalFresh assistance, you will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit card.
You can use your EBT card to buy food at participating grocery stores, order groceries online for pickup or delivery at participating grocery stores, and participating farmers’ markets.
How much in food benefits does CalFresh provide?
It depends on your situation.
The program provides up to $835 of extra money each month for a family of four and $250 per month for individuals 18 and above.
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