CalFresh

CalFresh awards people up to $250 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.

APPLY FOR CALFRESH!

Check if you are eligible for CalFresh by following the steps below!
If you think you could be eligible, let us help you apply!

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

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

CHECK IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CALFRESH BY FOLLOWING THESE STEPS! 

STEP 1) CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT 

U.S. citizens may qualify for CalFresh benefits! Some non-citizens such 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!

  • Are international students eligible for CalFresh?
    • Most international students have a student visa. Individuals with a student visa do not meet the citizenship requirement for CalFresh, which would make them ineligible to receive CalFresh benefits.
  • Are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or AB540 students eligible for CalFresh?
    • Unfortunately DACA and AB540 students are not eligible because they do not meet the citizenship requirement. 
  • Are undocumented students eligible for CalFresh?
    • Unfortunately undocumented students are not eligible because they do not meet the citizenship requirement.

 

STEP 2) DOES CALFRESH CONSIDER YOU A COLLEGE STUDENT? 

If you are considered a college student, then you could be considered eligible if you meet college student eligibility requirements! 

You are considered a student if you are:

  • Age 18-49 and is physically and mentally “fit” for employment. If the person has a disability, they are not considered a student.
  • Enrolled in at least 6 units 

You are not considered a student if you are:

  • Age 17 and under or age 50 and older, OR
  • Physically and mentally "unfit" for employment due to disability, OR
  • In high school, OR
  • Enrolled less than half-time (as determined by the school), OR
  • Enrolled in programs or classes that do not require a high school diploma or GED, OR
  • Enrolled in schools that are not considered institutions of higher education.

* The student eligibility rules do not apply to people who are not considered a student. This means that people who are not considered a student can still be eligible for CalFresh. * 

 

STEP 3) STUDENT MEAL PLANS

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

$2.148

$2,904

$3,660

$4,418

$5,174

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 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
  • Campus Employment Program (students employed by UC Davis)
  • 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)

Enrolled in a state-funded program that increases employability

  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)
  • College Disabled Students Program and Services/Student Academic Support
  • Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) Program
  • UC McNair Program
  • CalFresh Employment and Training Program
  • Mathematics, Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program
  • Puente Project
  • Foster Youth Success Initiative
  • Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth
  • Educational Support (CAFYES)
  • Extended Foster Care (AB 12/AB 212)
  • Guardian Scholars Program
  • Chafee Educational Training Voucher Program
  • Aggie EVO System Program

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Health Services—Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Master Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN)
  • Master of Science - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • UC Davis School of Law Program
  • Master in Public Health (MPH)
  • Employed by UC Davis
  • Research and Teaching Assistantship Program
STEP 6) APPLY!

If you think you might be eligible let us help you apply! 

  • Fill out our CalFresh Intake Form so that we can guide you through the application process!
    • YOLO COUNTY RESIDENTS! WE CAN HELP YOU APPLY FASTER THROUGH OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH YOLO COUNTY! ​​​​​​

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.