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.


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:

  • 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
Pleasant Hill
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:

  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

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:

(866) 663-3225

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 October 31, 2024. 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.