CalFresh Application Assistance

CalFresh Logo, with tagline Better Food for Better Living


What is CalFresh?

CalFresh gives you extra money to help pay for your groceries!

CalFresh is a supplemental food program to help you get the food you need to stay healthy. Your CalFresh money is provided in an EBT debit card that looks like any other debit card. You can use it to purchase groceries at most grocery stores and farmers' markets just like you would any other debit card.

Last year the average amount student’s received was $172 per month!

As a student, you may qualify if you have a monthly income of $981 or less and meet ONE (or more) of these:

  • Work an average of 20 hours/week   
  • Eligible for Work Study
  • Enrolled in EOP or MESA
  • Have a child under 12

How to Apply

The CalFresh assistance program at SF State helps you apply based on the county you are living in.

The application can be done over the phone! To get it started, call us at (415) 338-2344. If we are out of the office or busy helping another student, please leave your name and phone number so we can call you back.

If you would rather meet in person to start the application, please email us at to set up a time.

When calling or coming in for an appointment, please have these documents available on your computer to send:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of units (copy of class schedule or unofficial transcript)
  • Work Study, EOP, or MESA verification
  • Proof of income: job (a month of paystubs or letter from employer), child support, or private loan


Do I have to be a US Citizen?

  • To qualify you must be a legal permanent resident (green card) or U.S. Citizen. Refugees/ Asylees and U or T Visa holders can also qualify.

Does receiving CalFresh affect my financial aid?

  • Receiving CalFresh does not affect how much financial aid you receive.

Do I have to work 20 hours each week?

  • Work hours can vary from week to week as long as it's an average of at least 80 hours per month.

What are the income guidelines based on?

  • Income qualifications are determined by your current income, not the amount in your checking and/or savings account.

Do student loans or grants count as my income?

  • Money from federal loans is not counted as income. Money from private loans used for tuition and school related materials (books, supplies) is not counted. Money from loans used for living expenses (rent, clothing, food) is counted as income.