Basic Needs



What is CalFresh Food?

CalFresh Food is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need.

CalFresh Food dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help many people afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets.

CalFresh Food is the name of the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the state of California. Recipients receive and “spend” CalFresh Food benefits electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.

The amount of benefits you can receive is dependent on your family size, countable income, and monthly expenses such as housing, utilities, and so forth.

All U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Resident children may qualify to receive CalFresh Food benefits, regardless of where the parents were born. Parents may also qualify for benefits if all other program guidelines are met. Individuals with no children also may qualify.

ebt card example
An electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card is used like a debit card at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

You can also apply on your own online, but from our experience you have a greater chance of being approved by setting up an appointment to complete the application with our CalFresh Outreach team.

CalFresh Food Outreach: Overcoming Barriers to Student Success

This video was a capstone project made by CSUMB alum, Robert Jurado. He was a Collaborative Health and Human Services (CHHS) Major and the very first CalFresh Food Outreach intern with the Dean of Students Office. He identified and interviewed several CSUMB students who successfully received CalFresh Food benefits after learning about the program at campus events, such as the Associated Students Food Pantry. Hear what the students have to say about their experiences with CalFresh Food.