(formerly known as Food Stamps)

(formerly known as Food Stamps)

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.


California has been approved to provide emergency allotments to eligible households during the COVID-19 Emergency. March 2020 through May 2022 Emergency benefits will 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 16, 2021 for benefit month April 2021; all CalFresh households will receive a minimum emergency allotment of $95 per month. This new minimum applies regardless of household size.

  • 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.

Emergency allotments will be issued to eligible CalFresh households for the months of March 2020 through May 2022 based on the schedule listed below.

Benefit MonthIssuance Date
February 2022March 20, 2022
March 2022April 17, 2022
April 2022May 22, 2022
May 2022June 19, 2022


Learn about the October 2021 boost to pre-pandemic CalFresh benefit levels on thisFact Sheet


Temporary Changes to the CalFresh Student Eligibility Rule. If you are a student who is eligible for state or federal work study OR have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0, you may be eligible for CalFresh food benefits. You will need to submit proof with your CalFresh application. These documents are recommended: WORK STUDY: temporary work study verification letter OR a tmeporary work study verification form, $) EFC: A California Student Aid Commission verification letter, A copy of your Student Aid Report, A copy of your financial aid offer letter

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 .

Sabian que:

  • 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

Current Recipients

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:

  • Complete an online application from any computer 24 hours 7 days a week.
  • By telephone (877) 505-4630
  • Fax a completed application to (925) 228-0310
  • Mail a completed application to any district office listed below.
    Download a CalFresh Application: ENG | ESP
  • Visit any of our 5 district office locations:
East CountyCentral CountyWest County
4545 Delta Fair Boulevard
400 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill
151 Linus Pauling Drive
151 Sand Creek Road
 1305 Macdonald Avenue
All office hours:8:00AM – 5:00PMMonday – Friday

*Minimum requirements to file a CalFresh application:

  1. Applicant’s name and
  2. Household’s address (unless homeless), and
  3. Signature of head of household, any adult household member or an authorized representative, or responsible minor.

Expedited Services

If you are without money for food, you may qualify for emergency CalFresh benefits. 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, provide identification and

  • your household makes less than $150 in monthly income; or
  • your household’s combined monthly income and money on hand are less than your household’s combined monthly rent and utilities; or
  • you are a migrant or seasonal farm worker and have less than $100 on hand right now.

For questions and assistance, please call the 24 hour toll free automated information line:

(877) 505-4630

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.