MONEY TO BUY FOODS

Do you have difficulty affording nutritious food?

You may be eligible for CalFresh benefits.

CalFresh benefits (Food Stamps) are available through California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It helps individuals and families purchase healthy food by providing them with an EBT card and monthly stipend, which can be used in grocery stores and at some farmers markets.

Get 1:1 Help Applying for CalFresh

Applying for CalFresh is easy, free, and doesn’t affect your immigration status. See below for upcoming events to get help applying for CalFresh. Open to all, no appointment needed.

Friday, April 26, 2024 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | Paso Robles

Visit our Oak Park Neighborhood Food Distribution to pick up fresh food and receive hands-on help applying for CalFresh!

  • Oak Park Community Center (Pine St & 30th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446)

Flyer & More Information >>

June 7, 2024  |  1 – 4:30 pm  |  PUBLIC LIBRARIES

The SLO Food Bank is partnering with the Department of Social Services to host six CalFresh Application Assistance Events at public libraries across the county. On June 7, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., we will be at these locations offering bilingual application help:

  • Arroyo Grande Public Library
  • Nipomo Public Library
  • Morro Bay Public Library
  • SLO Public Library
  • Atascadero Public Library
  • Paso Robles Public Library.

CalFresh Program Updates

Protect your CalFresh EBT benefits!

To avoid potential EBT benefit theft in the future, download the new ebtEDGE mobile app to keep track of your CalFresh benefits and make sure they’re secure.

New features include:

  • Biometric Access: Secure your account with Touch ID, fingerprint, or facial recognition.
  • Block Transactions: Monitor and block any unauthorized transactions you did not make.
  • Card Freezing: “lock” and “unlock” your EBT card whenever you need it or when not in use.
  • Card Replacement: Request a card replacement for any lost or damaged card that will be delivered right to you.
  • Change PIN: Keep your PIN secure and change it as often as you like. Remember to NEVER share your PIN.

Now available on Apple and Google Play store. Don’t have a smartphone? Manage your account online at www.ebt.ca.gov

Who Qualifies?

You do not need an address to qualify. You may qualify if:

  • Someone in your household is a legal resident or U.S. citizen.
  • Your income before taxes falls within the guidelines below:
Income Guidelines
October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024
Household                 Gross Monthly
​Size                              Income
1 Person                       $2,430
2 People                       $3,288
3 People                       $4,144
4 People                       $5,000
5 People                       $5,858
6 People                       $6,714
7 People                       $7,570
8 People                       $8,428

​Each additional member: + $858

What Are The Benefits?

​Depending on your circumstances, you can receive up to $291 per month. Larger households may qualify for a higher monthly benefit.
​October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024
Household              Maximum
​Size                          CalFresh Allotment
1 Person                    $291
​2 People                    $535
3 People                    $766
4 People                    $973
5 People                    $1,155
6 People                    $1,386
7 People                    $1,532
​8 People                    $1,751

Each additional member: + $219

Where Can I Use An EBT Card?

​An EBT card works like a debit card.  It can be used to purchase food at:​

  • Grocery stores
  • Online at Amazon
  • Participating local farmers markets

At farmers markets that offer the Market Match Program​, you can double your CalFresh dollars while purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Download this flyer for more information about participating farmers markets in SLO County.

What Can I Buy?

​You can use CalFresh benefits to buy food for your household, including:​

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants that produce food

Some recipients can also use their CalFresh benefits to purchase hot foods at participating restaurants with the Restaurant Meals Program. CalFresh recipients who qualify include those who do not have access to cooking facilities and those over the age of 60 who cannot cook for themselves. An additional CalFresh EBT card is NOT needed, but recipients must speak with their county caseworker to find out if they are eligible to participate in this program.

For a list of local restaurants that accept CalFresh click here.

How Do I Apply?

Apply online at getcalfresh.org​
College students can apply and receive application assistance at calfreshcalpoly.org

  • The online application process takes 10 minutes.
  • You will be asked to provide your contact information.
  • Be prepared to answer general questions about your job, your income, and the people in your household.
  • Once you submit your application, you will be contacted within two weeks.
  • If eligible, you could have an EBT card within a month.

What If I Need Help Applying?

​Contact your local Department of Social Services Office.
Find locations near you.

College students can receive application assistance from the CalFresh Outreach Team at Cal Poly. Their passionate team of students will walk you through the CalFresh application, help you organize materials for applying, and send you reminders of next steps! Visit calfreshcalpoly.org

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a nutrition education program that helps families eat well, be active and stay healthy. WIC provides no-cost nutrition education, breastfeeding support, healthy foods and referrals to healthcare and other community services.
    • You can participate in the WIC Program if you:

      • Are in a category served by WIC –
        • Pregnant women
        • Breastfeeding women up to one year
        • Just had a baby in the past six months (including recent pregnancy loss)
        • Infants and children from birth up to five years. Including those cared for by a single father, grandparents, foster parents or guardians
      • Meet the WIC income guidelines for your family
      • Provide documentation that you live in California

For more information regarding this program, visit the website. 

Frequently Asked Questions

CalFresh is a federal program, known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In California, it is administrated and run by each county, and in SLO County is administered by the Department of Social Services. The SLO Food Bank helps support the promotion of CalFresh so all qualifying individuals know about the benefits they may be eligible for and how to apply for them.

No, you do not have to pay back your CalFresh benefits or pay to apply for the program. The only time you need to pay back benefits is in the case of over-issuance of benefits, which is rare. If you suspect that you are receiving the incorrect amount of benefits, contact your caseworker.

Receiving support from other programs like Social Security, State Disability Insurance, unemployment benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), or Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) does not disqualify you from receiving CalFresh. In fact, receiving this support means you likely qualify for CalFresh.

No, CalFresh is an entitlement program. This means that it is a program that provides assistance to people who meet the requirements set by law. For example, if you fall within the set income guidelines, then you would be eligible. Essentially, those that meet the set requirements have the right to receive benefits and are NOT taking benefits away from anyone else. 

No, applying for CalFresh will not affect your immigration status or your chance of getting legal permanent residence. Receiving CalFresh is not considered to be a public charge. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) do not consider health, food, and housing services as part of the public charge determination.

Yes, mixed status households may still be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. CalFresh is completely confidential, and the immigration status of any household members is only used to determine who qualifies for benefits. If a family member is enrolled in CalFresh, this will not negatively impact undocumented family members.