Do you have any questions about CalFresh? Interested in learning if you may be eligible for monthly grocery benefits? Book an appointment with a CalFresh Navigator to find out more information and apply.
You may qualify for CalFresh if you answer yes to ALL the following questions:
1. Student is between 18 - 49 years old?
2. Are you currently enrolled in 6 units or more?
3. Are you a U.S. Citizen, legal permanent resident, U-Visa or T-Visa holder, VAWA applicant, or refugee, parole, or asylum designee?
4. Do you meet household and monthly gross max income limits? (Reference table below)
5. Do you meet ONE of the following qualifications listed below?
- Do you work at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month?
- Were you awarded Cal Grant A OR B in your 22-23 financial aid award?
- Are you currently employed on campus?
- Are you part of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)?
- Are you participating in a Local Education Program that Increases Employability (LPIE). In other words, are you part of a major or program that requires you to complete an internship, fieldwork experience, student teaching, clinical hours to graduate?
- Are you exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis)?
- Are you a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12 AND enrolled full-time (12+ units)?
- Are you participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or be a recipient of CalWorks , AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or GROW (General Relief Opportunities for Work)?
Temporary COVID-19 Expanded Eligibility (Expires June 9, 2023)
- Were you awarded or are eligible for federal work-study in your 22-23 financial aid award?
- Do you have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0?
Other Things to Consider
- International, DACA, and DREAM students will not be eligible, even with a work VISA/Social Security Number.
- Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh Food if they are residing in California for the school year.
- If you have a meal plan from the University that covers more than half of your meals (11+ meals per week), unfortunately, you will not qualify for CalFresh at this time.
- If you are younger than 22 AND live with your parents, you must apply with your family (If you are over 18 and do not live with your parents, you can apply on your own)
- If you are under 18 years old, over 49 years old, or enrolled in fewer than 6 credit units, you do NOT have to meet a student exemption to be eligible
Household is defined as a person living alone or a group of people living together (they do not have to be related) who buy food and make meals together.
You may apply on your own if...
- You are 18 and over, living on your own
- You are 18 and over, living with roommates whom you do not buy food and prepare meals with
- You are 18 and over, living on campus AND have the 10 meals per week meal plan (if you have 11 meals or more per week, you are not eligible to apply)
- You are 22 and over, living at home, AND you do not buy food and make meals with others living in your home
You must apply with everyone in your household if...
- You are 18-22, living at home with parents
- You are 22 and over, living at home and you buy food and make meals with others living in your home
- To determine the max income limit for your household size, determine who works in your home and add their gross income (before taxes) to see if you meet the max gross monthly income limits for your household
- If you are under the max gross monthly income, you may be eligible for CalFresh
- If you are over the max gross monthly income, you may not be eligible for CalFresh
|Number of People in Household*||Gross Monthly Limit||CalFresh Food Allotment Range|
The following are considered sources of income. You must add all of them when determining your total monthly gross income (before taxes)
*Reference the Household Size and Maximum Income Limit Chart to determine your household size, max monthly gross income, and maximum CalFresh benefits you may be eligible for!
- Income from a job where you receive weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly paystubs
- Paid internships or volunteer opportunities
- Self-employment work such as freelance, independent contractor, or self-employment work (Ex. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, run your own business, online store, dog walker)
- Unemployment benefits
- Social Security retirement (SSA)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- State Disability Insurance (SDI)
- Child support
- Military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
- Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits
- Worker’s compensation
- Pensions or other retirement
- Monthly cash from family or friends
A Local Education Program that Increases Employability (LPIE) is when a major or degree program requires you to complete an internship, fieldwork experience, student teaching, clinical hours to graduate. Students enrolled in one of these programs along with meeting the other qualifications above can apply and be approved for CalFresh:
Current List of Approved Degree Programs that meet LPIE qualifications:
- Anthropology, BA
- Art: Concentration in Art History and Studio Art, BA
- Bilingual Spanish Journalism, BA
- Biomedical Science: Concentration in Biotechnology, MS
- Biomedical Science: Concentration in Stem Cell Science, MS
- Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts, MFA
- Conflict Resolution, Certificate
- Child and Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Care and Education, BA
- Cinema BA
- Cinema MFA
- Counseling: Career Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Counseling: College Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Counseling: Gerontological Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Counseling: Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Counseling: School Counseling Emphasis, MS
- Creative Writing, MA
- Criminal Justice Studies, BA
- Dietetic Internship (Certificate in Dietetics)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Education: Concentration in Special Interest Area, MA
- Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
- English Literature, MA
- English: Concentration in Linguistics, MA
- English: Concentration in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, BA
- Environmental Science, BS
- Environmental Studies, BA
- Cooperative Education Certificate
- Doctor of Philosophy in Education: Concentration in Special Education
- Early Childhood Special Education Credential: Special Education
- Education Specialist Credentials: Special Education
- Education: Concentration in Educational Administration, MA
- Environmental Studies: Concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation, BS
- Environmental Studies: Concentration in Natural Resource Management in Conservation, BS
- Equity and Social Justice Education, MA
- Extensive Support Needs Credential: Special Education
- Geography, BA
- Gerontology, MA
- Industrial Organizational Psychology, MS
- International Relations: Professional Emphasis, MA
- Journalism: Concentration in Print and Online Journalism, BA
- Kinesiology: Concentration in Integrated Teacher Education Program in Physical Education, BS
- Mathematics: Concentration in Teaching, BA
- Museum Studies, MA
- Museum Studies, Minor
- Music & Recording Industry Audio Engineering Emphasis, Certificate
- Nursing, Accelerated BS
- Nursing, BS
- Psychological Science: Concentration in Developmental Psychology, MA
- Psychology, BA
- Psychology: Concentration in Clinical Psychology, MS
- Psychology: Concentration in School Psychology, MS
- Public Health, BS
- Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Counseling Designation, Post Master's Level
- Recreation, Parks, Tourism Administration, BS
- Social Work, BA
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Laboratory Science
- Journalism: Concentration in Photojournalism, BA
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Social Work
- Mild to Moderate Support Needs Credential: Special Education
- Music & Recording Industry Music: Business Emphasis, Certificate
- Orientation & Mobility Credential: Special Education
- Pupil Personnel Services Credential: School Psychology Designation
- Sociology, BA
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Special Study Certificate
- Technical and Professional Writing, Certificate
- Urban Studies and Planning, BA
- Studio Art, BA
- Visual Impairment Credential: Special Education
If your program is not on this list but does require internship, fieldwork experience, student teaching, clinical hours to graduate, please email the CalFresh team at email@example.com to see if your program can qualify!
1. Complete your phone interview- after submitting your online application a County Eligibility Worker will call you within 10 business days. Be sure to answer any unknown phone numbers, the County will NOT leave a message and will NOT call you back. If you miss your phone interview, your case will be automatically closed and you will need to re-submit your application online again.
2. After your phone interview you will be instructed to collect verification documents that may include:
- Class schedule (SFSU Gateway Portal)
- Financial Aid verification e.g CalGrant A/B, Work Study or EOP letter (SFSU Gateway Portal or ask your EOP advisor)
- Pay stubs (if you are working)
If you need help gathering these documents please visit the CalFresh Help Clinic or email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Receive your EBT card in the mail
5. Re-certify your benefits every 6 months, visit the CalFresh Help Clinic or email email@example.com for help.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, a change in federal law made more students temporarily eligible for CalFresh benefits. These rules expanded eligibility to:
- students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0
- students eligible to participate in a state or federally financed work-study program.
If you have not applied for CALFRESH, you can still apply by June 9, 2023, under the temporary rules. Starting June 10, 2023 you can apply only under regular CALFRESH rules.
If you are already participating in CALFRESH, and your certification period ends in April, May, or June, you can apply to recertify by June 30, 2023, under the temporary rules.
Starting July 1, you can recertify you can recertify only under regular CALFRESH rules.
If you are approved for CalFresh you will receive an EBT card that looks like a debit card. You can use this card to purchase food at most grocery stores and farmers' markets.
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will send a letter via email to all students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 for the current school year. These emails will start being sent to students the week of February 8th.
Recommended verification documents:
- CSAC letter notifying of $0 EFC for the current school year,
- A copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) showing an EFC of $0, OR
- A copy of the Financial Aid Offer letter showing an EFC of $0
All students who are currently eligible for work study will receive a letter via email from the financial aid office. These email notifications will start being sent to students the week of February 22nd.
Recommended verification document:
- Letter from the financial aid office confirming work study eligibility