What is CalFresh and how do you apply?

This post is part of Petaluma Bounty’s CalFresh Awareness Month Blog Series.

CalFresh is California’s name for the food stamp program, which is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) at the national level. Since 2011, California has dedicated May to sharing more resources and information about CalFresh with the intent of encouraging more people to utilize this public benefit. Furthermore, CalFresh Awareness Month is an opportunity to dispel misinformation about the program and help people navigate the stigma surrounding government aid. 

Applying for CalFresh is not as difficult as many people think. We recognize that not everyone has reliable internet access, but for those who do, you can apply online via getcalfresh.org.

According to the website, it takes about 10 minutes. If you know someone who doesn’t have internet access or who would like to speak to someone via telephone while applying for CalFresh, here are a few local service providers that can help:

If you’re interested in applying but concerned you might not qualify, please check out this information from the California Association of Food Banks,. In addition, Mycalfresh.org individual eligibility guides for older adults over 60, people with disabilities, and people who have immigrated to the US. These resources are also available in Spanish.  

Upon approval, you’ll receive your benefits within 30 days on an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, or EBT card.

If you’re waiting to receive your CalFresh and/or need food now, regardless if you qualify, please find resources here:

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