CalFresh Outreach Basics
What is CalFresh?
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 is the CalFresh Outreach (CFO)?
The CalFresh Outreach Program is funded through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and is implemented in partnership with county social services offices. It assists people through the entire CalFresh application process, including assistance with the application itself, obtaining verification documents, navigating the 30-day application period, as well as the renewal process.
What the CalFresh Outreach Program can help you with:
- Eligibility Prescreen
- Application Assistance
- Required Verifications
- Interview Preparation
Where do I go for Assistance?
Drop-in Assistance: Please visit the Financial Aid Computer Lab located on the second floor of the Student Services building.
Cal Fresh Outreach Program
Step 1: Contact your CalFresh Outreach Team and take the application prescreen. If you are not sure who your CalFresh Outreach Team is, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: If you think you may be eligible, complete and submit an application with your CalFresh Outreach Team. Although the application is available online, we encourage you to apply online with the help of your CalFresh Outreach Team because they are very familiar with the questions and will likely get you through the application faster.
Step 3: Once the application is received by the county, your 30-day application period begins
Step 4: During this 30 day period, you will need to do the following:
- Complete your INTERVIEW with the county office by phone or in person (The county office will either call or mail you a date and time for your interview)
- Let your CalFresh Outreach Team know if you have not heard from the county within the first 7 days
Step 5: You will then be required to provide verification documents [to your county office. This must also be completed during the 30 day period. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit verification documents that meet their requirements. Examples of verification documentation include:
- Copy of ID
- Proof of address
- Utility Bill
- Pay stubs
- Financial aid award letter and schedule (if a student)
Step 6: In order to keep your CalFresh benefits, you will be required to do the following:
- Complete a Semiannual Report (called a SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. They County will let you know when this is due.
- Complete a Recertification Application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period. The County will let you know when your Recertification Application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your interview. Most interviews will be conducted over the phone.
Documents You Need to Have for CalFresh Application
All CalFresh applicants must submit verifications. Typical student verifications include:
- Proof of Identification
- Earned/Unearned income
- Proof of residency (mail with current address)
- Financial Aid/Work Study Award
- Proof of units
- Housing and Utility costs
- More Information on Verification
Verification Request Full list: State of California- Health and Human Services Agency Request for Verification (PDF)
This website was funded by USDA, SNAP, known in California as CalFresh, an equal opportunity provider and employer, and the California Department of Social Services.