In addition to the services provided by our member food banks, CAFB can help connect you to many food programs that can assist families and households with getting the food they need. For more information on how to apply, please use our Find Food Assistance tool. For a more general overview on food programs in California, please see the list below:
CalFresh (also known as SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)
Free and reduced price school meals
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
CalFresh is a federal nutrition program for low-income individuals and families that can help households buy healthy foods. Formerly known as the food stamp program and federally known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), this program provides a monthly nutrition benefit which is used via an EBT card (similar to a debit card). The benefit can be used to purchase groceries at major markets, small retailers, and even farmer’s markets.
For more information on whether your household may be eligible, please see Do I Qualify for CalFresh?
Schools provide free and reduced price meals for children in low-income households. Applications are sent home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals at any time throughout the school year by submitting a household application directly to your school. Your school will provide you with an application upon request. If you are receiving CalFresh benefits, your child automatically qualifies for free school meals. Please contact your school to determine if you need to fill out an application.
The link below provides parents and referral agencies with a list of locations where children may receive free nutritious meals during school vacation and off-track periods. Please reach out to the site contact person to confirm the site's participation and hours.
WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children. WIC helps families by providing funds for buying healthy foods from WIC-authorized vendors. The program also provides nutrition education and help finding healthcare and other community services. Participants must meet income guidelines and be pregnant women, new or breastfeeding mothers, infants or children under age five.