CalFresh

CalFresh awards people up to $281 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. 

CalFresh benefits are accepted in the Segundo Market and the Memorial Union Market!

Check if you are eligible for CalFresh by following the steps below!
If you think you could be eligible, let us help you apply!
If you are a Yolo County resident, we recommend that you 

Fill out our intake form so that we can help you!

Contact us at 530-752-9254
email us at calfresh.compass@ucdavis.edu 

 

APPLY FOR CALFRESH!

CalFresh Student Eligibility

  • STEP 1) DOES CALFRESH CONSIDER YOU A COLLEGE STUDENT? 
  • You are considered a student if you are:
    Age 18-49, physically and mentally "fit" for employment and enrolled in at least 6 units.
  • 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!
  • STEP 3) STUDENT MEAL PLAN 
  • Students with a meal plan of 10 or less 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 4) 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 HOUSEHOLD

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    GROSS MONTHLY INCOME LIMIT

    $2,266

    $3,052

    $3,840

    $4,626

    $5,412

  • STEP 5) MEET ONE OF THE FOLLOWING ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
  • 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
    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 child care
    Do not plan to register for the next school term
    Are participating in CalFresh Employment and Training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh
    Are receiving CalWORKS
    Are receiving Cal Grant A or B
    Students employed by UC Davis - Campus Employment Program
    Research and Teaching Assistantship Program  
    Temporary Exemptions (only in effect during the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency)

    Eligible for work-study
    $0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    Student Programs
    Aggie EVO System Program
    First-Year Aggie Connection Mentor
    Guardian Scholars Program (GSP)
    Mentorships for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science (MURALS)
    Writing Ambassadors

    Undergraduate Programs
    Bachelor of Science in Human Development
    College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences-  Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, Bachelor of Science
    Military Science - UC Davis Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
    Plant Biology Bachelor of Science
    Political Science- Public Service Bachelors of Arts
    Research and Teaching Assistantship Program  

    Graduate Programs
    Community Development Graduate Group
    Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    Doctor of Nursing Practice — Family Nurse Practitioner Degree Program
    Doctoral Degree (PH.D.) Materials Science and Engineering
    Doctors of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Master Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)
    Master in Public Health (MPH)
    Master of Arts in Native American Studies
    Master of Health Services—Physician Assistant (PA)
    Master of Science - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
    Master of Science (M.S.) in Materials Science
    Master of Science in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
    Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management (EMP)
    Masters in Business Administration
    Masters in Public Health
    Masters of Science in Engineering
    PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
    PhD in Biostatistics
    UC Davis School of Law Program
    Research and Teaching Assistantship Program

CalFresh Documents Needed

  • COPY OF GOVERNMENT IDENTIFICATION
  • Drivers license, state issued I.D, or passport are all examples of acceptable I.D
  • FINANCIAL AID STATEMENT
  • The Financial Aid Statement can be found on "MyAwards," and it must contain the your full name and all of your funding. *Tip: Print the webpage as a PDF! This should capture all of the required information*
  • CLASS SCHEDULE
  • Class schedule can be found on schedule builder and is needed to show student is at least enrolled part time at the time of the application.  
  • PROOF OF INCOME (IF APPLICABLE) 
  • Provide copies of any pay stubs from the last 30 days. 
  • WORK-STUDY PROOF (IF APPLICABLE) 
  • Even if you do not use work study, if you are eligible you must include a letter. You can find the work study letter on “MyAwards”

General CalFresh questions

  • Contact us at 530-752-9254
  • Email us at calfresh.compass@ucdavis.edu

Check the status of your case

  • Yolo County residents/applicants
    • Fill out a Release of Information Form at the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center and a member of the CalFresh Outreach Team can follow up with the county and provide you with an update, OR
    • Contact Yolo County Benefits Center at 855-278-1594, OR
    • Create an account with mybenefitscalwin.org - You can check on your case status, benefit amounts, EBT balance and submit periodic reports, renewal forms and upload documents. 
  • CalFresh applicants and recipients outside of Yolo County 
    • Can contact their county's benefits center to check the status of their case.
    • Create an account with mybenefitscalwin.org - You can check on your case status, benefit amounts, EBT balance and submit periodic reports, renewal forms and upload documents. 

Submit documents

You can also submit documents in-person at the Davis CalFresh office, 600 A St, Monday thru Friday, 8am - 4pm or any Yolo County office.

CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I have a job?
  • You can have a job and still may be eligible for CalFresh.
  • 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 other CalFresh requirements in order to qualify.
  • What are some of the requirements for CalFresh in regards to students?
  • Students must meet the citizenship, identification, income, address and student- related information requirements in order to determine eligibility for CalFresh benefits.
  • Can freshmen receive CalFresh benefits if they have a meal plan?
  • No. Individuals with an unlimited meal plan are not eligible to receive CalFresh benefits because they receive more than half of their meals from another source.
  • What are the income limits for CalFresh?
  • 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 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 will mail or give you a plastic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. For a list of locations near you that accept EBT please go to https://www.ebt.ca.gov.
  • What can I buy with CalFresh benefits?
  •  
    You CAN buy You CANNOT buy
    breads and cereals beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
    fruits and vegetables any nonfood items: pet food, soaps, paper product, household supplies
    meats, fish, and poultry vitamins and medicines
    dairy products hot 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 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 apply for CalFresh if I don’t get FAFSA?
  • Yes. Financial aid is not a requirement for CalFresh benefits.
     
  • Can I get CalFresh if I am receiving government aid or academic financial aid?
  • Sometimes. Income that counts toward the CalFresh income threshold: non-federally funded financial aid, graduate student stipends, unemployment, and PUC CARES. Income that doesn't count toward the CalFresh income threshold: government economic impact stimulus payment and in most cases federally funded financial aid; these forms of income will still need to be reported. See CDSS website for further information on income thresholds.
     
  • 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.