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 $281 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.


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:

Household Size

Maximum Gross Monthly Income

Maximum    CalFresh        Allotment
           1        $2,266        $281
           2        $3,052        $516
           3        $3,840        $740
   +1 Household       Member              +$788        +$211

Part 2: Student Exemptions

Must meet at least ONE of the criteria below:

  • Receiving Cal Grant A or B
  • Been awarded work-study this academic year
  • Work 20 hours/week or an average of 80 hours/month
  • Responsible for a dependent under the age of 6
  • Responsible for a dependent under 12 with no adequate childcare 
  • NEW- Local Programs that Increase Employability (LPIE)- 
    • *Full program list coming soon* 
    • Campus employment
  • *Temporary* COVID Expanded Eligibility-
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0
    • Eligible for work-study


If approved for CalFresh, you will receive an EBT card. CalFresh issues monthly electronic benefits (money) 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 anywhere between $20-$281  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)
  • Financial Aid Summary & Tasks (FAST) page which shows Federal Work Study status
    • OR Student Aid Report (current academic year shows Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0)
  • 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

Office Hours

Walk- In:                                                    Virtual:      

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

Tue, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.                             Tue, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Wed, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.                              Thu, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Thu, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.                             Fri, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.