CalFresh is known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and formerly as food stamps.
CalFresh is the nation’s biggest and best anti-hunger program.
This government run program helps households buy healthy foods. We support 50+ partners throughout the state who help community members apply for and stay enrolled in CalFresh.
CalFresh is a federal nutrition program that lets people buy food at their local grocery store with a debit card. Nationally, it is known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but many may know it by its old name: food stamps.
California has one of the lowest rates of SNAP participation in the country, with only 70% of eligible households getting CalFresh. Almost 2 million Californians are not receiving these nutrition benefits that they are qualified to receive.
There are many reasons that people don’t apply for CalFresh. The role of CalFresh outreach is to help address these barriers, assist community members with their applications, and ensure eligible households can keep getting CalFresh.
While California’s participation rate continues to lag far behind the national average, together with our partners we are helping low-income families secure the support they need for healthy diets.
Each year, our outreach partners assist nearly 30,000 households apply for CalFresh each year.
We create resources to help to support our outreach partners in their work to enroll eligible Californians in CalFresh.
If an applicant applied in the past but was denied for being slightly over income, they should consider reapplying in October. CalFresh recipients may see a slight increase in their benefit amounts.
Resources & materials:
This calculator is valid from October 2023–September 2024.
We are always excited to work with more outreach partners. Reach out to find out more about partnering with us.
Here is some additional information about changes to CalFresh.
Supplemental Security Income (SS) is a federally funded program that provides a modest monthly benefit to low-income people who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. In California, the SSI payment is augmented by a State Supplementary Payment (SSP) which brings the maximum monthly benefit for an individual living alone to $1135, an amount that forces many low-income seniors and people with disabilities to live in poverty.
Together with our food banks, we have been at the heart of the Californians for SSI (CA4SSI) coalition that championed this historic victory in the 2018-19 state budget, ending the exclusion on CalFresh that has been in place since 1974. This expansion is estimated to have made some 500,000 SSI recipients eligible for CalFresh.
Due to severe storms impacting California in 2023, Disaster CalFresh and related CalFresh waivers were authorized for many counties throughout much of the year. Updates can be found on our tracking page here.