CalFresh

CALFRESH AWARDS PEOPLE UP TO $291 PER MONTH FOR GROCERIES!

CalFresh, also known as SNAP/EBT, is a long-term food assistance program for people with low-income who meet federal income eligibility rules and want to add to their budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. 

CalFresh funds are loaded onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card each month and can be used to purchase groceries at most grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers' markets, Amazon.com, Walmart, and Instacart. 

Appointments Available NOW!

CalFresh benefits are accepted on campus in the Segundo Market, Tercero Market, Cuarto Market, Silo Market, Sage Street Market, Memorial Union Market, ARC Market, and Farmers Market.

Yolo County Residents

We can often help Yolo County residents apply faster.

Non-Yolo County Residents

This is an online application and it is not associated with UC Davis.

CalFresh Eligibility Overview

Step 1) Are you a College Student under CalFresh?

You are considered a student if you are:
Age 18-49, physically and mentally "fit" for employment, and enrolled in at least 6 units.

If you are not considered a college student, you do not need to worry about steps 4 and 5 shown below.

Step 2) Citizenship Requirement

U.S. citizens may qualify for CalFresh benefits!
Some non-citizens such as Permanent Resident Noncitizens (Legal Permanent Residents [LPR’s]), Refugees, Granted Asylum, victims of human trafficking or domestic violence, among other qualified noncitizen categories, may still be eligible to CalFresh benefits! For a full list of qualifying immigration statuses, and information regarding Public Charge, visit GetCalFresh.org

Mixed-status families can still apply for CalFresh if they have eligible members in their households! For example, undocumented parents can apply for benefits for their citizen children. California Department of Social Services is not allowed to share immigration information with federal agencies therefore the information is kept strictly confidential.

If you are an AB540 or undocumented student
You may qualify for Aggie Fresh, UC Davis's expansion of CalFresh. To apply submit the Aggie Compass CalFresh Form.

International students will not be eligible, even with a work VISA/Social Security Number.

Step 3) Income Limit

Students who earn less than or equal to the Gross Monthly Income Limit could be eligible! 

The number of people in your household is defined as the people you purchase and prepare food with. This means that if you do not purchase and prepare meals with people you live with, then you do not include them to determine your eligibility.

 
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN HOUSEHOLDGROSS MONTHLY INCOME LIMITNET INCOME LIMIT
1$2,430$1,215
2$3,288$1,644
3$4,144$2,072
4$5,000$2,500
5$5,858$2,929
What is considered as income?

Gross income is all non-excludable income (before taxes) from any source including all earned income and all unearned income (I.e. Social Security, unemployment benefits, etc.). See the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) website for CalFresh income limits.

Is my financial aid considered as a source of income?
  • Educational assistance, including grants, scholarships, fellowships, work study, educational loans on which payment is deferred, veterans' educational benefits and the like is included in the income calculation.
  • To be excluded from the income calculation, the education assistance must be used for or identified (earmarked) by the institution, school, program, or other grantor for the following allowable expenses:
    - Tuition,
    - Mandatory school fees, including the rental or purchase of any equipment, material, and supplies related to the pursuit of the course of study involved,
    - Books,
    - Supplies,
    - Transportation,
    - Miscellaneous personal expenses, other than normal living expenses, of the student incidental to attending a school, institution or program,
    - Dependent care,
    - Origination fees and insurance premiums on educational loans,
    (All the above cost will be reflected in your Financial Aid Statement)
  • Educational assistance for normal living expenses which are room and board are NOT excludable.
Sponsored Immigrants are also required to submit their sponsor's income information as a part of their income. 

Step 4) Student Meal Plan

Students with a meal plan of 10 or fewer meals per week could be eligible!

Unfortunately, if you have a meal plan with 11 or more meals per week, you will not be eligible. This includes the 5-day meal plan and the 7-day meal plan.

Step 5) Student Exemptions

Students only need to meet one of the following from any the lists
  • Basic Student Exemptions
  • - Approved for state or federal work-study and anticipate working during the current school year
    - Work at least 20 hours per week, and be paid for such employment
    - Do not plan to register for the next school term
    - Participating in CalFresh Employment and Training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh
    - Receiving CalWORKS
    - Receiving TANF-funded Cal Grant A or B (must provide proof which is provided after you are awarded)
    - Students employed by UC Davis - Campus Employment Program
    - Research and Teaching Assistantship Program  

    Parents:
    - Are enrolled full-time, and are a single parent with a dependent child under the age 12
    - Are exerting parental control over a dependent child under age 6
    - Are exerting parental control over a dependent child age 6-11 without adequate childcare
  • Student Programs - (LPIE)
  • Student Programs

    - First-Year Aggie Connection Mentor
    - Guardian Scholars Program (GSP)
    - Sacramento Valley College Corps (SVCC)
     
    - Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR)
    - Advancing Diversity in Neuroscience Research (ADNR)
    - Advancing Diversity in Aging Research-Honors (ADAR-HR)
    - Advancing Diversity in Neuroscience Research-Honors (ADNR-HR)
    - Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program (BUSP)
    - Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE)
    - Mentorships for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science (MURALS)
    - Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)
    - UC Center Sacramento (UCCS)
    - Undergraduate Public Health Scholars
  • Undergraduate Programs - (LPIE)
  • - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science- Public Service
    - Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science
    - Bachelor of Science in Biochemical Engineering
    - Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
    - Bachelor of Science in Clinical Nutrition
    - Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development (Global Communities Track)
    - Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development (Organization and Management Track)
    - Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development (Policy, Planning, and Social Services)
    - Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management
    - Bachelor of Science in Global Disease Biology
    - Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Genomics
    - Bachelor of Science in Human Development
    - Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development- Agricultural Production Option
    - Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development- Environmental Issues Option
    - Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development- Rural Communities Option
    - Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development- Trade and Economic Development Option
    - Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
    - Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology
    - Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems
    - Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology
    - Military Science - UC Davis Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

  • Master Programs - (LPIE)
  • - Master of Arts (MA) in Education
    - Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics
    - Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science
    - Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology
    - Master of Arts (MA/Credential) in Education
    - Master of Arts (MA) in Native American Studies
    - Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science
    - Master of Science (MS) in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry (AGC)
    - Master of Science (MS) in Animal Biology
    - Master of Science (MS) in Applied Mathematics (GGAM)
    - Master of Science (MS) in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
    - Master of Science (MS) in Biomedical Engineering
    - Master of Science (MS) in Biostatistics
    - Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics
    - Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering
    - Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science (GGCS)
    - Master of Science (MS) in Earth and Planetary Sciences
    - Master of Science (MS) in Hydrologic Sciences
    - Master of Science (MS) in Immunology
    - Master of Science (MS) in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology
    - Master of Science (MS) in Neuroscience
    - Master of Science (MS) in Plant Pathology
    - Master of Science (MS) in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
    - Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    - Master Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)
    - Master in Public Health (MPH)
    - Master of Health Services—Physician Assistant (PA)
    - Master of Science - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
    - Master or Science in Environmental Policy and Management (EMP)
    - Master of Science in Engineering
    - Research and Teaching Assistantship Program
  • PhD Programs - (LPIE)
  • - PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
    - PhD in Animal Biology
    - PhD in Applied Mathematics (GGAM)
    - PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
    - PhD in Biomedical Engineering
    - PhD in Biophysics
    - PhD in Biostatistics
    - PhD in Chemical Engineering
    - PhD in Computer Science (GGCS)
    - PhD in Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB)
    - PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences
    - PhD in Hydrologic Sciences
    - PhD in Immunology
    - PhD in Integrative Genetics & Genomics
    - PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
    - PhD in Mathematics
    - PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology
    - PhD in Neuroscience
    - PhD in Plant Pathology
    - PhD in Political Science
    - PhD in Sociology

    - UC Davis School of Law Program

    - Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    - Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner
    - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
    - Research and Teaching Assistantship Program

If you identify with at least one item from any list above, you are likely eligible for CalFresh. If you do not meet any items, you may qualify for CalFresh by enrolling in the Beyond the Basics Program.

CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
  • What are the minimum/maximum benefits one can receive?
  • The benefit amount is based on household size and household income, with deductions allowed for some expenses, such as rent and/or utilities. See the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) website for specific information.
  • How will I receive CalFresh benefits?
  • The County can mail you the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card or you can pick it up from their office. Benefits will be put on the card when your application is approved. Sign your card when you receive it. You will set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use your card.
  • How do I use my CalFresh benefits?
  • CalFresh benefits are issued on an EBT card that works like a debit card. You can use it at most grocery stores and many farmers markets. Here is a list of locations near you that accept EBT.
  • What can I buy with CalFresh benefits?
  •  

    You CAN buyYou CANNOT buy
    breads and cerealsbeer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
    fruits and vegetablesany nonfood items: pet food, soaps, paper product, household supplies
    meats, fish, and poultryvitamins and medicines
    dairy productshot foods and food that will be eaten in the store
  • Will I have to pay back the benefits?
  • You will not have to pay back any benefits you were eligible to receive. However, if there is a mistake (either user or admin) and you receive more than you are eligible for, you will be responsible for paying that amount back.
  • How often do I need to report?
  • If your initial application is approved, you will then be required to report changes every six months and whenever your household exceeds its Income Reporting Threshold (IRT) for CalFresh.
  • Can I keep CalFresh if I am no longer a student?
  • Yes, as a non-student the same citizenship and income thresholds apply, but you no longer need to meet a student eligibility exemption.
Expedited Services
  • What is Expedited Service?
  • If a household qualifies for Expedited Service, they can get their CalFresh Food benefits in three days or less, and submit any required documents within 30 days.
  • How is a household eligible for Expedited Service?
  • A household must meet one of the following to qualify for Expedited Services:
    - Have less than $150 of gross monthly income and less than $100 of cash on hand or in their checking or savings accounts; or
    - Housing cost (rent/mortgage and utilities) are more than their monthly gross income and cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; or
    - Migrant or seasonal farmworkers with less than $100 in checking or savings and their income has stopped, or their income has started but they do not expect to get more than $25 in the next ten days.
Interview
  • I never hear back from the county for an interview, what should I do?
  • If the student lives in Yolo County, and we have appointments available, we can have the student apply through our center regardless of how long ago they have applied as long as there is not an active case.
    If we have limited appointments, students can call the county at (855) 278-1594 around 10:00 AM in the morning for the shortest wait time. Please note that if you want to go in person to Yolo County Human Services, only the Woodland location accepts in-person interview. Davis office located at 600 A St, Davis, California, 95616 does not process interviews.
  • I missed my interview, what should I do?
  • Depends on if we have appointments or not, we could reschedule another interview for students. Students can also call (855) 278-1594 around 10:00 AM in the morning for the shortest wait time.
Household Size
  • What are “mandatory households”?
  • There are certain people who are considered to be in the same household regardless of whether they purchase and prepare food separately.
  • Who is included in “mandatory households”?
  • A married couple who lives together; or
    Anyone under 22 and living with their biological, adoptive or stepparents; or
    Unmarried couple living together with a common child.
Income
  • What if I have a job?
  • You can have a job and still may be eligible for CalFresh. However, your income from the job will be included in CalFresh application and used to determine the amount of benefit you could receive.
  • If I do not work, can I still qualify for CalFresh?
  • Students are not required to work in order to qualify for CalFresh. However, you still must meet all CalFresh requirements in order to qualify.
  • How is income Calculated?
  • Most CalFresh households are subject to a gross income determination test. Gross income is all non-excludable income (before taxes) from any source including all earned income and all unearned income (i.e. Social Security, unemployment benefits, etc.). See the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) website for CalFresh income limits.
  • What if I have money in my bank account?
  • Liquid resources are no longer considered in the eligibility determination for most households. 

    Note: This does not apply to CalFresh Expedited Services (ES) requests – where, if eligible, the county must complete your request for ES within 3 days. During triage to determine if you are eligible to an ES appointment, you will be asked about money in your bank account(s). For most households, even if you are not eligible for ES, you may still qualify for regular CalFresh processing/benefits, regardless of your liquid resources.
  • Can I apply for CalFresh if I don’t get FAFSA?
  • Yes. but they will request for your financial aid statement even if you do not receive any funding. Please fill it out so that you can provide a copy to the county when it is requested. 
Citizenship
  • Can you still apply if you have non-citizen household members?
  • You may still potentially be eligible to CalFresh Food benefits even if there are household members who are non-citizens.
  • Will personal information regarding non-citizen household members be shared with ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement)? 
  • No, the County CalFresh Food program will not share personal information with ICE.
County
  • I’m not currently in Davis, why can’t I apply in Yolo County with Aggie Compass?
  • While CalFresh (SNAP) is a federally funded program, it is different in each state. Within California, each county also handles their own CalFresh cases. Therefore your application will be sent to the individual county and reviewed by the social worker in that county based on your current address (not future address).
  • My permanent address is different from Yolo County. Should I use Yolo County or my home county?
  • Even if the student’s permanent address is not in Yolo County, as long as they are currently living in Yolo County, they should apply within Yolo County. 

    Most students will be living in Yolo County during the school year which makes up the majority of the year. If a student is away to visit a family member for only a short period of time, the CalFresh address should not be affected as long as it’s not a long term move.
  • I'm not in Davis for a break, can I apply now or should I wait until I return?
  • Students can apply for CalFresh at anytime, but they need to apply in the county they currently lived at. The county worker will ask the student where they currently live and a proof of address is required.
Student Exemption
  • What is the Local Program Increase Employability?
  • Local student programs that provide employment and training such as job retention, job search training, work experience, vocational training, self-employment training, on-the-job training, and/or education are called LPIEs. Once a program is approved, all counties in the State of California will acknowledge the program’s stand as LPIE, and use it towards approving students for CalFresh.
  • What if my county worker asks for student exemption?
  • Please use this form: CF 6177. This is the official form that all counties are using for student exemption. If the student is participating in a LPIE, please have them check "Enrolled in a Local Program that Increases Employability (LPIE)". This form includes the link to the most recent LPIEs.

    You can also access the List of Approved LPIEs at CalFresh Student Eligibility: List of Approved LPIEs. This is an excel sheet that's sorted by county. UC Davis is among the last few rows, and you should see your program included in this excel. If the county worker has questions about their program eligibility, please refer them to this website.

    Please also attach an unofficial transcript that indicates your enrollment in the program during your application process.
  • I have work-study or $0 EFC, but the county denied my benefit. Why?
  • During COVID-19, Eligible for Work-Study and $0 EFC are temporary exemptions for students. Beginning June 10th, 2023, those temporary CalFresh student exemptions end. The student will need to meet another exemption to potentially qualify
  • I received CalGrant A, but the county worker asked me to provide something starting with T?
  • While CalGrant A or B is listed on the student exemption, the CalGrant must also be funded by TANF (CalWORKs in California) in order for it to be a student exemption. 

    CalGrants funding came from a lot of different sources, some of them includes TANF, SLOF, and CaLottery etc. There are some restrictions on how the fundings works inside CalGrant. For TANF, there are some specific requirements to use that fund: the use of TANF funding for CalGrants is limited by the number of grant recipients who are unmarried, age 25 and under, and have annual parent and student income of no more than $50,000.

    Students can email or call CSAC (California Student Aid Commission) at 888-224-7268 or Studentsupport@csac.ca.gov and for a verification of their CalGrant funding type.

    Here is a sample verification: 2020-21 Cal Grant Program Award CalFresh Notification