CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps households and families buy the food they need for good health. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help people to afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets. CalFresh is California’s version of SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps).
Looking for help?
You may qualify for CalFresh if you can answer “yes” to these questions:
- 1.Are you or at least one of your children a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident?
- 2.Is your household’s GROSS monthly income (before taxes and deductions) within the limits in the chart below? (If a household member is 60 or older or permanently disabled, then the income can be higher.)
Household size of 1 = $1,980
Household size of 2 = $2,670
Household size of 3 = $3,360
Household size of 4 = $4,050
Household size of 5 = $4,740
Household size of 6 = $5,430
Household size of 7 = $6,122
Household size of 8 = $6,816
Each additional household member= +$694
*These income guidelines are effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017
*Individuals receiving SSI/SSP in California are not eligible for CalFresh, but other members of the household may be.
Additional information on documents that will be required during the application process: English / Spanish.(link to verification flyers)
How much could I possibly receive in CalFresh benefits?
The maximum monthly benefit amounts depend on family size:
Household size of 1 = $194
Household size of 2 = $357
Household size of 3 = $511
Household size of 4 = $649
Household size of 5 = $771
Household size of 6 = $925
Household size of 7 = $1,022
Household size of 8 = $1,169
Each additional household member= +$146
*These maximum benefit amounts are effective through September 30, 2017
Ways to apply in San Luis Obispo County:
There are several different options available, to make it as easy as possible to apply.
- 1.Apply online through My Benefits CalWin at: https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/
- 2.Download the My Benefits CalWin app for apple or android devices and apply using a smart phone or tablet.
- 3.After submitting your information online through My Benefits CalWin, a worker at your local Department of Social Services office will call you to finalize the application process within 7 days of submitting your application online.
Apply directly with the County:
Apply at any Department of Social Services Branch office or by phone:
- In San Luis Obispo: 3433 S. Higuera (805) 781-1600
- In Morro Bay: 600 Quintana Way (805) 772-6405
- In Paso Robles: 406 Spring St (805) 237-3110
- In Arroyo Grande: 1086 Grand Ave (805) 474-4000
- In Nipomo: 681 W Tefft St, Ste 1 (805) 931-1800
- In Atascadero: 4915 El Camino Real (805) 461-6000
Did you know?
Many of the eligibility rules have changed over the years, making it easier to access CalFresh.
- It is possible to do the entire application and eligibility process from home.
- Finger prints are no longer required, and eligibility interviews can be done over the phone instead of at the county office.
- You can own your home and vehicles, and have money in the bank, retirement, pension, etc. and still qualify for CalFresh.
- CalFresh benefits help households hang on to the cushion they need in the bank to make it through the near future, college, or retirement.
- Benefits are provided on an EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer) that is used just like a bank debit card and is accepted at most grocery stores and participating local farmers’ markets.
- CalFresh can be used to purchase food, seeds and seedlings to grow your own food.
What documents will I need to verify my eligibility?
- General documents required during application English / Spanish (insert links to verification flyer)
- Student documents required during application English / Spanish (insert links to student verification flyer)
Resources for Households Already Receiving CalFresh:
- SAR 7 (Semi-Annual Report) form: Most households are required to fill out a SAR 7 (Semi-Annual Report) form 6 months after receiving benefits. Click here to download the SAR 7 form. See below for details, and call the DSS office at (805) 781-1600 if you're not sure about your reporting timeline, haven't received one in the mail, or have recently moved and not updated your mailing address with DSS. You must submit your filled out and signed SAR 7 form to DSS in order to keep receiving CalFresh benfits. Beginning on July 1, 2016, all CalFresh cases will have to complete a SAR 7.
- Households that have a one year certification period will need to submit a SAR 7 in the 6th month.
- Households that reside on a Native American reservation or where all members are elderly/disabled will still receive a two year certification period, but if they have earned income, the household will need to submit 3 SAR7’s, one at 6, 12 and 18 months. If there is no earned income they will only need to submit one SAR7 at 12 months.
- Download this SAR 7 help document, with detailed instructional notes on how to fill out the SAR 7.
- Recertification Form: Recertification is similar to a renewal process and is needed in order to keep receiving CalFresh benefits (1 year for most households; 2 years for some seniors and people with disabilities). If you need a new Recertification Form, download it here and submit to the County in order to keep receiving CalFresh benefits.
As an extra benefit, the Market Match program at local farmers’ markets gives bonus farmers' market dollars for FREE to shoppers utilizing a CalFresh EBT card at participating farmers’ markets. The Market Match program is available at all four North County Farmers’ Market Association markets in Paso Robles, Los Osos, Templeton, and Atascadero.
The North County Farmers Market Association will match up to an additional $15.00 in EBT tokens to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at all 4 NCFMA markets.
A great way to double your CalFresh funds and get fresh produce from local farms!
EBT Tokens are easy to use -
- All NCFMA market vendors accept tokens
- Use tokens for all food items (except hot prepared foods)
- Tokens are good any time (today, tomorrow, next month)
- Tokens are good at any NCFMA Market
- Atascadero - Wednesdays
- Baywood - Mondays
- Paso Robles - Tuesdays
- Templeton - Saturdays
San Luis Obispo County CalFresh Alliance
The CalFresh Alliance of San Luis Obispo County brings together County agencies and community partner organizations working on CalFresh Outreach throughout SLO County. The group stays current on local CalFresh data, information and processes, shares information and training, and supports each other's work.
The goal of the CalFresh Alliance is to reduce hunger and increase health of residents in SLO County by reaching an 85% CalFresh participation rate through the following strategies:
- Increase ease of enrollment at DSS offices,
- Expand CBO outreach to eligible populations,
- Expand pathways to CalFresh enrollment.
For more information, view the SLO County CalFresh Alliance Work Plan here.
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