CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps)
The CalFresh program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits (similar to a bank debit card) that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and grocery stores.
The CalFresh program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs.
At the Federal level, the program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. In California, the CalFresh Program is supervised at the state level by the California Department of Social Services and is administered at the local level by each County Welfare Department.
How many CalFresh benefits can you receive?
Your CalFresh allotment depends on the size of your household. The maximum allotment for one person is $200 per month. The maximum allotment for a four person family is $668. In California, the average amount of benefits per person is approximately $97 per month, and the average amount of benefits per household is $200.
How much money can you have and still get CalFresh?
As of February 1, 2011 resources (bank accounts, cash on hand, etc.) are not considered in the eligibility determination. The resources of a household are looked at when screening for emergency appointments only. Your house (that you live in) and personal belongings do not count. Your vehicles do not count.
A household's gross monthly income cannot exceed 130 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines. For a household of three, this is $1,984. A household’s net monthly income cannot exceed 100 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines. For a household of three, this is $1,526.
What can you purchase with CalFresh?
CalFresh can be used to buy any food or food product that is produced for human consumption. The exception to this is hot foods or lunch counter items prepared or heated in the store. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, vitamins or medicines, and pet food are also excluded. Seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food can be purchased with CalFresh. CalFresh benefits cannot be used to buy non-food items like soap, toilet paper or shampoo.
Can single people living alone receive CalFresh?
Yes. Being married and/or having children is not a requirement.
Can you receive aid from other programs and receive CalFresh?
Yes. In California, 60 percent of the CalFresh households also receive cash aid from other public assistance programs. There is a restriction that a household cannot participate simultaneously in the CalFresh Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. Also, in California, Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/ SSP) Program recipients do not qualify for CalFresh.
Can a homeless person receive CalFresh?
Yes. A person must reside in the county in which an application is filed. Residence in a permanent dwelling or a fixed mailing address is not required.
Where can I apply for CalFresh?
In Contra Costa County you can apply at the Employment & Human Services Department offices and call for information between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. County office information below:
4545 Delta Fair Boulevard in Antioch
151 Sand Creek Road in Brentwood
400 Ellinwood Way in Pleasant Hill
151 Linus Pauling Drive in Hercules
1305 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond
||Medi-Cal Service Center
(24 hour automated information)
You can access the online application from any computer 24 hours 7 days a week at www.mybenefitscalwin.org