The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as CalFresh in California, is one of the most effective ways to combat childhood hunger in America. The CalFresh program supplements a family’s food budget in order to ensure they are getting adequate nutrition.
CalFresh is proud to play a critical role in reducing hunger and poverty and improving health by providing nutrition assistance to millions of low-income households through an array of vital services. CalFresh has the power to reduce hunger, support health, expand opportunity, and even respond to disasters. CalFresh provides monthly benefits to help households purchase the food they need if eligible.
A CalFresh Household may be a family, an individual, or any combination that purchases food and prepares meals together. A child living with parents cannot be a separate household until age 22.
Citizens of the United States or non-citizens who are legally residing in the U.S. are eligible to apply for CalFresh. Non-citizen parents may be able to receive benefits for their children who are citizens. Some income and property limits are reviewed to see if the CalFresh household is eligible. Property used as a home is exempt from property limits.
California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is a state-funded program for legal permanent non-citizens legally present in the U.S. and determined ineligible for federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits solely due to their immigration status.
Families that receive Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) could also qualify for CalFresh Food benefits. P-EBT cards are automatically sent to eligible families based on information from other programs, including CalFresh Food benefits and free or reduced-price school meals. You can apply for CalFresh Food benefits at GetCalFresh.org. **You do not need to apply for P-EBT**
Public charge rules do not apply to programs like CalFresh, Pandemic EBT, WIC, and school meal programs. Getting CalFresh will not affect your immigration status, or your chances of getting legal permanent residency in the future. For more information about immigration and public benefits, visit KeepYourBenefits.org.
Call the CalFresh Benefits Helpline at
Available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Russian.
For speech and/or hearing assistance call 711 Relay.
For immediate food assistance, find your local food bank. You can also call 2-1-1, a resource helpline for referrals for childcare, affordable housing or shelter, cash assistance, healthcare and more.
Talk to a local expert on public benefits and immigration. Immigrants who can get CalFresh benefits still need to meet the regular CalFresh income guidelines.
Last Reviewed: February 15, 2022