Are You Struggling to Put Food on the Table?
The CalFresh program may be able to help you get the nutritious food you need.
What is CalFresh?
CalFresh is a supplemental food program to help individuals and families get the food they need to stay healthy. The CalFresh benefit is provided in an EBT debit card that looks like any other debit card. You can use it to purchase groceries and fresh produce at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets just like you would any other debit card.
The CalFresh debit card also makes it easy to make healthy choices because you can shop for the nutritious foods you and your family prefer.
CalFresh puts food on your table and dollars into the local economy. Every CalFresh dollar you spend generates $1.79 for the local economy. Everyone benefits when people are able to buy healthy foods from their local grocery store or farmers’ market.
Who is Eligible for CalFresh?
CalFresh is available to individuals and families with low incomes. Citizens and most legal residents are eligible. Undocumented immigrants are usually not eligible, but can apply for their children who are legal residents or U.S. citizens. Households without special circumstances (see note 3 below) must qualify under the following gross income guidelines (effective through September 30, 2014).
Even if you have applied for CalFresh before, you should try again. New legislation was passed to increase access and you may be eligible now even though you weren’t before.
||Gross Monthly Income
(200% of Federal Poverty)
Food Stamp Benefit
|Each additional member
1. In California, people who receive SSI/SSP do not qualify for CalFresh, but other household members may qualify.
2. Households also have to qualify under a "net income" test — taking into account their expenses for shelter, medical bills, utilities, and child care.
3. Households with a member in any of the following situations should call Food Connection (1-800-984-3663) to be screened, because the above income chart does not apply.
- Receiving SSI
- Elderly (over age 60)
- Full-time student
- Legal permanent resident for fewer than 3 years
How Can I Apply for CalFresh?
Step 1: Find out if you are eligible
Call Food Connection Hotline at 1-800-984-3663 for a screening over the phone. If it looks like you are eligible, you will be scheduled to meet with a CalFresh Outreach Specialist in the community near you or at the Food Bank office. To find an assistance location near you, please view our CalFresh Assistance Map.
If you prefer, you can download this referral form and fax it to the Food Bank. The fax number is on the referral form. A Specialist will call you back to screen you over the phone and set up an appointment for you if you are eligible.
Step 2: Submit an application
Specialists help with submission of the online application through https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/ and will scan and submit verifications along with the application. If you are unable to meet with a Specialist at a community location, Specialists can take applications over the phone and verifications can be submitted by fax, email, or US mail.
Step 3: Complete the application process
Applicants will be scheduled for an interview with county social services personnel who make the final determination of eligibility and issue the EBT card. Additional verifications may be required at that time.
Step 4: If qualified, receive benefits and maintain eligibility
Once qualified, you will receive your CalFresh debit card. To stay eligible, all CalFresh recipients must complete report forms every six months with a semi-annual recertification.
San Mateo County
General flyer for San Mateo County
Santa Clara County
General flyer for Santa Clara County
How the Community Benefits from CalFresh Participation
If you can help distribute these flyers in the community or have questions about CalFresh application clinics, please call Anna at 408-266-8866 ext 424.
Find more CalFresh volunteer opportunities.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is a CalFresh Outreach Subcontractor of the California Association of Food Banks which receives funding from the California Department of Social Services.