- CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need.
- CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help many people afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets.
- CalFresh is the name of the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP) in the state of California. Recipients receive and “spend” CalFresh benefits
electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT)
cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.
What the CalFresh Outreach program can help you with:
- Services during drop-in assistance
- Application Help
- Eligibility Prescreen
- Appeals Assistance
- Required Verifications
- Interview Preparation
- Questions Answered
- Helpful Materials
- Recertification Help
Students can only qualify for CalFresh if they meet certain criteria. There are many definitions and exemptions that can be confusing. Read carefully in order to find out if you are considered a student and whether you may be eligible. Even if you are not eligible for CalFresh, remember that other people in your household may still qualify.
First, it is important to determine if you are considered a student.
Who is a student?
You are considered a student if you are:
1. Between the ages of 18-49 and are physically and mentally “fit” for employment. If the person has a disability, they are not considered a student.
2. Enrolled at least half-time* in regular curriculum at an “institution of higher education” in which the regular curriculum meets the standard requirements for graduation or certification in a particular field of study.
*Half-time is determined by the institution in which you are enrolled. At Mt. SAC, it is 6 units or more.
Individuals who are attending school and do not meet all of the above CalFresh student criteria, are not considered students (for the purposes of CalFresh) and will not have to meet any student-related CalFresh requirements.
If you are considered a student, you can get CalFresh if you meet at least one of the following exemptions:
- Work at least 20 hours per week, on average;
- Are approved for state or federal work-study money and have not refused any job assignments;
- Are approved and awarded TANF funded Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B;
- Are a full-time student who is a single parent to a child under 12;
- A part-time student with a child age 6-11 without adequate child care;
- Are receiving CalWORKs benefits;
- Are enrolled in CalFresh employment and training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh; (EOPS, ACCESS, Aspire, REACH Guardian Scholars, SSEED, AB12)
- Do not plan to register for the next school term.
Who is not a student?
The student eligibility rules do not apply to people who are:
- Age 17 and under or age 50 and older, OR
- Physically and mentally “unfit” for employment, OR
- In high school, OR
- Enrolled less than half-time, OR
- Enrolled in programs or classes that do not require a high school diploma or GED, OR
- Enrolled in schools that are not considered institutions of higher education.
If you are not a student and you meet basic eligibility you should apply for CalFresh.
In CalFresh, a household is a group of people who regularly buy and eat food together. The people in a household do not have to be related to each other.
- Households can be as small as one person
- The same address can have more than one household
- You don’t need to have a home to receive CalFresh
Basic Eligibility Questions:
Does anyone in your household have a social security number?
Is your monthly income before taxes less than the amount allowed?
Use this chart to see if your household’s monthly income, before taxes and other deductions, is under the limit allowed for your household size.
- Please note the following household types that must apply together:
- Children under the age of 22 who are living with their biological, adoptive, or stepparent(s)
- A married couple who lives together
- An unmarried couple living together with a common child
October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021
|Household Size||Gross Monthly Income||Food Allotment Range|
|1||$2,128||$16 - $204|
|2||$2,874||$16 - $374|
|3||$3,620||$16 - $535|
|4||$4,368||$16 - $680|
|5||$5,114||$16 - $807|
|6||$5,860||$16 - $969|
|7||$6,608||$16 - $1,071|
|8||$7,354||$16 - $1,224|
|*Add this amount for each additional member||+ $748||+ $153|
Where do I go for assistance?
Apply at the comfort of your own pace
If you’d like to apply for CalFresh benefits at your own pace and would like for our
team to track your application and provide guidance and advocacy, you are welcome
to complete the short 10 minute application through our Mt. SAC URL referral below!
Apply for CalFresh benefits now!
Recently received an email from the Financial Aid Office stating you may now be eligible for CalFresh benefits?
Mounties, due to policy changes, students that have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 now meet the student eligibility for CalFresh benefits. Students still need to meet Immigration Status, Income and Household guidelines but we encourage you to apply. please check out our "Frequently Asked Questions" below...
Do i automatically get calfresh benefits because i have $0 efc? Lets find out…You are now student eligible but you still need to meet income and household guidelines. The application will guide you through the requirements and let you know if you are eligible.
If i'm already getting Calfresh benefits- do i need to do anything? No. You don't need to do anything.
if i apply- Does this affect my financial aid? will I need to pay back the calfresh benefits in the future? No. Applying to CalFresh will not affect your financial aid, and you will not need to pay it back in the future.
Does calfresh affect my taxes? No.CalFresh does not count as income on your taxes.
if i get approved- how will i know that i got the benefits? Once you submit your application, the next step is you receiving a call from the County Eligibility Worker to go over your application. If you qualify- the case worker will let you know and within a few days you will receive your EBT card in the mail.
Who do I count in my Household? Household is defined as people who regularly buy and prepare food together. This does not mean that if you occasionally share food with roommates, friends, or family that you should count them in your household. If you purchase your own groceries and are applying to receive your own individual benefits, then you would record your household as 1—just you!
I’m an International or Undocumented student, can I apply for CalFresh? Unfortunately, CalFresh is only available to US citizens and Legal Permanent Residents.
if i am receiving benefits- will i need to use food stamps at the store? No! You wil receive an EBT card that works just like a debit card with your monthly approved benefits added monthly. *
*Amount varies based on multiple factors.
if i am receiving calfresh benefits through my county- can i still apply through mt.sac? No. This is the same food assistance program .
Community Partnerships: Center for Healthy Communities
Our CalFresh Outreach efforts at Mt. SAC would not be possible without the incredible support of our partner, Chico State's Center for Healthy Communities (CHC). CHC is a leader in research-based nutrition, physical activity, and policy changes to support community health. CHC provides our CalFresh Outreach Program with the resources needed to better serve our Mountie student population.