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CalFresh - Am I Eligible?

CalFresh Better Food for Better Living

Eligibility Basics

Most college students are eligible! If you meet the program guidelines, you may qualify for CalFresh if you answer "yes" to questions 2 and 3 below:

Determining Household Size

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

Income Requirement

Is your household's gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions) within the limits in the chart below?

Note: Student Financial Aid is not counted as income for CalFresh. Individuals receiving SSI/SSP in California are not eligible for CalFresh, but other members of the household may be.

Income Guidelines for October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021:
Number of People in Household Gross Monthly Income Max CalFresh Allotment*
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

Household = a person living alone or a group of people living together who purchase and prepare food together. *Minimum amount is $16/month.

For chart updates please visit the Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) website.


Does anyone in your household have a social security card or is anyone in your household a lawful permanent resident?

College Student Eligibility

Effective Immediately: Due to COVID students are encouraged to apply for CalFresh if they are eligible for state or federally financed work study, as determined by the campus financial aid office, or if they have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0, as determined by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

If you are a student between the ages of 18 and 49, enrolled in at least 6 units, have no meal plan (or have a meal plan that provides ten or less of your meals/week), you must also meet any one of the following:

  • Working and getting paid for an average of 20 hours per week or a total of 80 hours a month.
  • Approved (or awarded or accepted) for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and has not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible even if a work study job has not begun or is not currently available).
  • Receiving Cal Grant A or B and is not married, 25 years of age or younger and has income less than $50,000.
  • Be enrolled in a state funded program that increases employability (EOP, EOPS, WIOA, SAS, CARE, UC McNair, Puente Project, or MESA).
  • Be enrolled in a program that increases employability for current and former foster youth (Guardian Scholars, FYSI, CAFYES, ETV or Extended Foster Care).
  • Be exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 or between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis).
  • Be a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12 and enrolled full-time (12+ units).
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or be a recipient of CalWorks or AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children).

Other Things to Consider

  • Unpaid internships or volunteer work do not count towards the work requirement.
  • Students who live with their parents must be 22 years of age or older to apply as an individual household.
  • International, DACA, and DREAM students may not be eligible, even with a work VISA/SSN.
  • Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) may be eligible.
  • Students with a state certified disability only need to meet basic eligibility.

Still unsure about your eligibility?

Take a prescreen and let us help you with eligibility! After the prescreen questionnaire is successfully completed, a staff member will reach out with your eligibility status.


For Basic Needs Inquiries:

For CalFresh Inquiries:

Phone: (530) 938-5376

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.