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. We can help gather documents, discuss student exemptions, walk you through the application and help with any post-application questions!

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

To be eligible for CalFresh you must:

  • Meet the income guidelines (make no more than $2,128 per month if applying on your own)
  • Have U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, U/T Visa or refugee status
  • Students must meet at least ONE of the following exemptions:
    • Work an average of 20 hours/week or more
    • Eligible for Work Study
    • Filled out the FAFSA and have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0
    • Enrolled in EOP, MESA, or Guardian Scholars Program
    • Have a child under 12
    • Receiving Cal Grant A or B
    • Other exemptions may apply

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

CalFresh Income Guidelines (Effective 1/1/2021- 9/30/21)

Number of People in Household* Gross Monthly Limit CalFresh Food Allotment Range
1 $2,218 $19-$234
2 $2,874 $19-$430
3 $3,620 $19-$616
4 $4,368 $19-$782
5 $5,114 $19-$929

*Household= a person living alone or a group of people living together who purchase and prepare food together.

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

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

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

Virtual CalFresh Application Assistance Hours

Fall 2022 Virtual CalFresh Application Assistance hours are coming back in October 2022


CalFresh Food