CalFresh Help Clinic

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 or are eligible for federal work-study in your 22-23 financial aid award? 
  • Were you awarded Cal Grant A OR B in your 22-23 financial aid award? 
  • Do you have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0? 
  • 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)?


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. 


Please Note:

  • 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 

CalFresh Income Guidelines (Effective 10/1/2022- 9/30/23)

Number of People in Household* Gross Monthly Limit CalFresh Food Allotment Range
1 $2,266 $19-$281
2 $3,052 $19-$516
3 $3,840 $19-$740
4 $4,626 $19-$939
5 $5,412 $19-$1,116

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 
  • Alimony 
  • Military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) 
  • Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits 
  • Worker’s compensation 
  • Pensions or other retirement 
  • Monthly cash from family or friends

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  

3. Receive your EBT card in the mail

4. Activate your EBT card

5. Re-certify your benefits every 6 months, visit the CalFresh Help Clinic or email for help.  

CalFresh FAQ

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 CalFresh student eligibility rule is temporarily changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These temporary changes mean that more students may now be eligible for CalFresh.

These students may now be eligible and are encouraged to apply for CalFresh:

  • Students who are eligible for state or federal work study, OR
  • Students who have an expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0, as determined by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)

Prior to the temporary changes, students who met the Work Study Exemption had to be approved for AND have accepted work study to be eligible. Currently, it is no longer required that a student be officially approved for or have accepted work study to be eligible.

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

You can begin a USDA Program Discrimination Complaint by following the directions on this complaint form.

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

CalFresh Application Assistance

CalFresh application assistance is now available for virtual and in-person appointments!

CalFresh Food