What is CalFresh?
The CalFresh program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits (similar to a bank debit card) that can be used to buy most foods such as bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish at many markets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
The CalFresh program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs.
At the Federal level, the program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. In California, the CalFresh Program is supervised at the state level by the California Department of Social Services and is administered at the local level by each County Welfare Department.
COVID-19 ISSUANCE OF CALFRESH EMERGENCY ALLOTMENTS ARE COMING TO AN END FEBRUARY 2023
California has provided emergency allotments to eligible households during the COVID-19 Emergency since March 2020. Emergency benefits raise each household’s regular monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable benefits based on their CalFresh household size. Effective with emergency allotments issued May 2021 for benefit month April 2021; all CalFresh households have received a minimum emergency allotment of $95 per month. CalFresh Emergency Allotments are ending because the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends the issuance of CalFresh Emergency Allotments to households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Households eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are now eligible to receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month.
- Households who are not eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size, but whose emergency allotment equals less than $95 per month when increased to the maximum for their household size will receive additional CalFresh benefits to raise their emergency allotment to the new $95 minimum.
- Households who are eligible to receive more than $95 per month when benefits are increased to the maximum for their household size will continue to receive that amount.
- These extra benefits will end in the month of February 2023 and the final Emergency Allotment will be issued in March 2023.
Emergency allotments will be issued to eligible CalFresh households for the months of March 2020 through February 2023 based on the scheduled below. Emergency allotments will come to an end February 2023.
|Benefit Month||Issuance Date|
|November, 2022||December 18, 2022|
|December, 2022||January 14, 2023|
|January 2023||February 12, 2023|
|February 2023||March 26, 2023|
CalFresh Expansion for SSI/SSP Recipients
Did you know:
- CalFresh Food benefits can be used to buy groceries online from select retailers.
- You can use your CalFresh EBT card at your local farmers’ market and get more fruits and vegetables with Market Match! Simply find a market staff person or go to the market info booth, swipe your CalFresh EBT card, receive CalFresh tokens, plus additional free Market Match tokens, and spend them at the market on fresh, local food. Find a participating market near you at FMFinder.org .
- Pueden usar su tarjeta CalFresh EBT en su mercado de frutas y verduras local y obtengan más frutas y verduras frescas con Market Match. Simplemente busquen a un miembro del personal del mercado o vayan a la cabina de información del mercado, deslicen su tarjeta CalFresh EBT, reciban fichas CalFresh, además de fichas Market Match adicionales y gratuitas y gástenlas en el mercado en alimentos frescos y locales. Encuentren un mercado participante cerca de usted en FMFinder.org
Are You In Need Of Food Now? Eng | ESP
If you are currently receiving CalFresh benefits, please call our service center at (866) 663-3225 for assistance. You will be able to talk to a courteous and professional representative who can take care of your CalFresh needs. The service center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Anyone who answers the toll free line will help you immediately with things such as:
- Reporting CalFresh changes (such as a new address, income, newborn, etc.)
- Questions about your benefits
- Assistance with completing forms
Having your CalFresh Case Number or Social Security Number available will help the representative serve you more quickly. More information about the service center can be found here: MediCal/CalFresh Service Center.
Please see the following important informational videos regarding mandatory mid-period reporting for CalFresh:
How to Apply for CalFresh:
In Contra Costa County you can apply for CalFresh in several different ways:
- Online at BenefitsCal.com or www.GetCalFresh.org from any computer 24 hours 7 days a week
- By telephone (866) 663-3225
- Fax an application to (925) 228-0310
- Mail an application to any district office listed below.
Download a CalFresh Application: ENG | ESP
- Visit any of our 5 district office locations:
|East County||Central County||West County|
|4545 Delta Fair Boulevard|
|400 Ellinwood Way|
|151 Linus Pauling Drive|
|151 Sand Creek Road|
|1305 Macdonald Avenue|
|All office hours:||8:00AM – 5:00PM||Monday – Friday|
*Minimum requirements to file a CalFresh application:
- Applicant’s name and
- Household’s address (unless homeless), and
- Signature of head of household, any adult household member or an authorized representative, or responsible minor.
Every application for CalFresh is reviewed for Expedited Services. Expedited Services will provide eligible households CalFresh Benefits by the third calendar day following their application date. A weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is considered one calendar day.
You can qualify for Expedited Services if you meet all other CalFresh requirements and:
- Your household has less than $150 gross monthly income and liquid resources are $100 or less; or
- Your household’s combined gross monthly income and liquid resources are less than your shelter and utility costs; or
- There is a migrant or seasonal farmworker in your household and your liquid resources are $100 or less
For questions and assistance, please call:
For more information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions or visit the State of California CalFresh website.
Important Information About the CalFresh Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit
The State of California has been granted a Statewide Waiver to the ABAWD time limit through June 30, 2023. CalFresh recipients will still need to be screened and identified as a potential ABAWD if not exempt, however there will be no time limits imposed during the waiver.