Basic Needs

CalFresh Outreach


Apply for CalFresh Request Application Assistance

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is a program that helps individuals and families to buy nutritious groceries and support their well-being.

CalFresh is California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Previously called Food Stamps, CalFresh is financial assistance that is received on a monthly basis to use to purchase grocery items. CalFresh benefits are provided monthly on an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, also known as an EBT card.

What Can I Buy With CalFresh?

Grocery Stores

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase fresh food from grocery stores including fruits, vegetables, meats, and food items that have a nutritional label. At checkout, grocery stores can automatically detect what items can be purchase with CalFresh benefits using an EBT card.

CalFresh benefits can even be used for online grocery purchases at participating locations (excluding any delivery fees).

Farmer's Markets

CalFresh benefits can be used at  participating farmer's markets, where they will match your usage up to $20 per visit. For example, if you use $20 of CalFresh benefits they will give you an additional $20 to use at that farmer's market on the same visit.

Visit the Market Match website for program details and a map of participating farmer's markets like the Saturday Pico Farmer's Market at Virginia Avenue Park.

Who is Eligible for CalFresh?

Anyone can apply for CalFresh and there is no difference in benefit amounts based on student status.

Where Can I Apply for CalFresh?

You can apply through in as little as 10 minutes.

Applications on the website are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese languages.

CalFresh Application Process

  1. Complete an application with verification documents.
  2. Complete a phone interview with a LA County eligibility worker within 1-2 weeks.
  3. If approved, you'll receive an EBT card with money for groceries on it in the mail within 30 days of applying.

What You Will Need to Apply

You will need to provide the following documents to apply for CalFresh:

  • A copy of your ID.
  • Proof of any income.
  • Proof of immigration status (for non-citizens).
  • Proof of student status (for college students).
  • The above documents are also required for anyone you live with that you purchase and prepare food with.

Additional documents may help your application be approved:

  • Proof of housing expenses.
  • Proof of child support paid.
  • Proof of child/dependent care paid.
  • If you are 60+ or disabled, proof of medical expenses.

If you have difficulties providing some proof there may be other options that the eligibility worker may be able to provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find some common questions about CalFresh and their answers here.

CalFresh Application Assistance

If you need assistance, SMC staff can help by answering questions, help submit documents, or meet with you 1-on-1 in person or online. 

Request an appointment or walk-in during office hours in the Student Services Center (3rd Floor, Room S340 - Student Judicial Affairs Office):

  • Monday11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday12 - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday12 - 4 p.m.
  • FridayBy appointment only

Request Application Assistance


CalFresh Student Eligibility

Anyone can apply for CalFresh, but to be qualified as a student in the program, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 18-49 years 
  • Are physically and mentally “fit” for employment.
  • Enrolled at least half-time (6 units or more).

CalFresh Student status also requires the student meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in an educational program that has an approved employment and training component to increase employability for CalFresh.
    • Learn more about approved Local Programs that Increase Employability (LPIE) in the CalFresh Approved Major list below.
  • Single parent or guardian of child/children under the age of 12.
  • A part-time student with a child age 6-11 without adequate childcare.
  • Awarded or eligible for Federal/State Work Study (per Financial Aid package).
  • Awarded Cal Grant A or B (per Financial Aid package).
  • Enrolled in CalFresh employment and training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh; (EOPS, Guardian Scholars, etc.).
  • Currently receiving CalWORKS or Medi-Cal benefits.
  • Employed or self-employed at least 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month.


CalFresh Approved Majors at SMC

Students enrolled in the following majors (listed by Area of Interest) are more likely to be eligible for CalFresh benefits!

The below SMC majors are approved as Local Programs that Increases Employability (LPIEs) which increase your likelihood of CalFresh eligibility.