7 things you might not know about CalFresh

People in line at a CalFresh outreach booth.

You may know that CalFresh benefits can help with purchasing groceries when money is tight. But did you know that you can double your CalFresh dollars at most Farmers’ Markets? Or that CalFresh is now available to some people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

For CalFresh Awareness Month, we asked our CalFresh Outreach Team to share 7 facts they wish more people knew about this program.

1. Applying for CalFresh doesn’t take benefits away from others

Everyone who applies for CalFresh and is eligible will receive benefits. The USDA sets aside funds for CalFresh each year – but right now
only 70% of those funds get used statewide, and the program is under-subscribed in both Solano and Contra Costa Counties. That means millions of dollars are going unused when they could be supporting people in our community.

Bottom line – if you qualify for CalFresh, please apply! 

2. You can work and qualify for CalFresh

CalFresh is for everyone, including working people – as well as families, single adults, students, veterans, seniors, children and more. Eligibility is based on the amount of income you make and the number of people in your household.

If you are not sure if you qualify for benefits, our bilingual CalFresh outreach coordinators  are ready to answer your questions on the phone or in person. They can help you determine if you are likely to receive benefits and in what amount. 

3. Your CalFresh dollars go farther at most Farmers’ Markets

At participating markets and farm stands you can get double the dollars to spend on fruits and vegetables when you use your CalFresh benefits. That means twice as many fruits or vegetables to take home!
Visit Market Match to learn more. 

4. You can receive CalFresh while owning a home or car 

CalFresh eligibility is based on your income, meaning you may still qualify if you have assets like a vehicle, house, or even certain savings and retirement accounts. 

5. You may be eligible for CalFresh if you receive SSI or SSDI

Thanks to changes to the program in 2019, people receiving SSI and SSDI may be eligible to receive CalFresh. If you’ve avoided applying for benefits for this reason, our outreach coordinators can answer your questions about these changes. 

6. CalFresh won’t affect your ability to get a Green Card or citizenship

You can access food supports like CalFresh – as well as many other medical and housing benefits – without affecting your immigration status. If you’d like to learn more,
check out this guide from the California Health and Human Service Agency.

7. Applying for CalFresh can be easy! 

The Food Bank’s bilingual CalFresh outreach specialists will help you with every step of your application, from determining your eligibility and helping you determine what documents to provide to monitoring your case once it is submitted to your home county. Depending on your needs, our outreach team members can assist you via phone or meet you in person at a public location to complete your application. 

Call our CalFresh Team at 925-603-3316 or schedule a call at the time that works best for you.

Want to learn more about our CalFresh team?

Visit our Instagram @FoodBankCCS – we’re posting video introductions from our outreach coordinators all month long.