What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is California's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that awards individuals who are eligible with monthly grocery benefits to help increase their food budgets and afford healthier options. Benefit allotment ranges depending on household size, income, and expenses.



Eligible students may receive up to $291 a month for groceries!



* If you are between 18 to 49 years old and enrolled in 6 units or more, then you are considered a student under CalFresh rules.


woman shopping at a grocery store

Getting CalFresh

Part 1: Student Basic Eligibility

Must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. Be a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
  2. Be between 18-49 years old
  3. Be enrolled in at least half time (6 units or more)
  4. Meet income requirements (refer to guidelines below)

Income Guidelines:

Income guidelines
Household Size

Maximum Gross Monthly Income

Maximum    CalFresh        Allotment
           1        $2,430        $291
           2        $3,288        $535
           3        $4,144        $766
   +1 Household       Member              +$858       +$219

Part 2: Student Exemptions

Must meet at least ONE of the criteria below:

  • Work 20 hours/week or an average of 80 hours/month
  • Approved for TANF-funded Cal Grant A or B
  • Approved for Work-Study (even if you haven't gotten a job yet) and plan to work
  • Participating in a student employment training program also known as Local Programs that Increase your Employability (LPIE)
  • Employed on Campus
  • Care for a child under 12 years old


*If you would like to see your academic/certificate program(s) has been approved as student exemption, visit Approved LPIE List.


If your program is on the Approved LPIE List, please download the list as a PDF and upload it with your application.


If approved for CalFresh, you will receive an EBT card. CalFresh issues monthly electronic benefits on the EBT card that can be used to purchase groceries at locations that accept CalFresh. An EBT card is basically a debit card for groceries!

  • Students can receive up to $291  per month to purchase groceries.
  • Benefits can roll over from month to month.
  • Benefits can be used all over the country.
  • EBT can purchase most foods, except for hot and prepared food.

CalFresh benefits EBT debit card works at most grocery stores- in person, online, and at Farmers' Markets.

Here you can search for Farmer's Markets that accept EBT near you: Use Farmers' Market Finder 

 Step 1: Fill out an application online

Step 2: Have a phone interview

Once your application has been submitted, the county has 30 days to determine if you are eligible. During the 30 days, the country staff will interview and go over the application with you either over the phone or in person. 

Step 3: Submit Verifications

Below are examples of items the county may ask you for verification. You have 10 days to turn in the documents.

  • A copy of your identity (driver's license/ identification card/passport/birth certificate/ school ID)
  • Proof of income (pay stubs/ unemployment award letter/disability benefit)
  • Social security numbers (for everyone who is applying)
  • Proof of expenses (mortgage or rent/utility and other bills)

Contact Us



Pirates' Cove Pantry and Resources, # 113 (behind the bookstore)

Office Hours

Walk- In:                                              Virtual:      

Mon, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.                               Mon, 3 p.m. -  5 p.m.

Tue,  1 a.m. - 3 p.m.                               Tue,  3 p.m. -  5 p.m.                            

Thu,  11 a.m. - 3 p.m.                             Thu,  3 p.m. -  5 p.m.

 Fri,   11 a.m. - 1 p.m.                              Fri,   2 p.m. -  4 p.m.