CalFresh: Food Assistance Program

What is CalFresh?

The CalFresh program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is for low-income families or individuals who need help getting healthy and nutritious food on the table. If eligible, the program issues monthly benefits via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT card) that can be used to buy most foods such as fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, and meats at many grocery stores and farmers markets. CalFresh helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs.

In California, the CalFresh Program is supervised at the state level by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and is administered at the local level by each County Welfare Department.

Who Qualifies for CalFresh?

Income Eligibility

CalFresh income eligibility chart

Additional Eligibility

In addition to income, there are eligibility requirements based on a variety of circumstances including:

  • Citizenship/California Resident status
  • Work status
  • Receiving or ability to receive CalWORKS or SSI/SSP
  • Having an elderly or disabled persons in your household
  • Ability to provide proof of eligibility
  • College students ages 18-49 who work a minimum of 20 hrs/week may also qualify


How Does It Work?


Apply online and your county office will call you within 1-2 weeks for an eligibility interview.

Receive Money

If approved, you will receive an EBT card to use to purchase food for you and your family.

Buy Food

EBT cards are accepted at most grocery stores and even many farmers markets & online shops.

How Do I Apply?

To apply, simply fill out an application at It only takes 10 minutes!

Apply Now


For questions, issues, or more information, call the CalFresh Info Line at 1 (877) 847-3663 or click on the map below to contact the social services office in your county:

Map of social services offices in Northern CA