CalFresh Food Assistance

Discover how CalFresh can help you stretch your food budget. This nutrition assistance program allows you to access affordable and nutritious food items, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy foods.

CalFresh Benefits

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need. Known also as the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), CalFresh recipients receive and use CalFresh benefits electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.

We can help you through the process of determining your eligibility and applying for benefits.

CalFresh Logo

What is the CalFresh Outreach (CFO) program?

The CalFresh Outreach program is funded through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and 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.

The CalFresh Outreach Program can help you with:

  • Eligibility Prescreen
  • Application Assistance
  • Required Verifications
  • Interview Preparation
  • Recertification
  • Troubleshooting

CalFresh Application Process

Step 1: Contact your CalFresh Outreach Team by completing the application prescreen. The pre-screen will help us determine your eligibility for CalFresh. 

Step 2: If you think you may be eligible, complete and apply 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 seven 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) six months after your initial application is approved. The 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. 

When submitting your CalFresh application, you will also need to 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

You can review more information about the State of California- Health and Human Services Agency Request for Verification (PDF) online. 

Questions? Contact Us

ECC Basic Needs Center - CalFresh Outreach

Business hours Alondra Room 2nd Floor Bookstore Bldg. (In-Person)

Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.