(formerly known as Food Stamps)

(formerly known as Food Stamps)

What is CalFresh?

The CalFresh program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits (similar to a bank debit card) that can be used to buy most foods such as bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish at many markets and grocery stores.

The CalFresh program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs.

At the Federal level, the program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. In California, the CalFresh Program is supervised at the state level by the California Department of Social Services and is administered at the local level by each County Welfare Department.


California has been approved to provide emergency allotments to eligible households during the COVID-19 Emergency. Emergency allotments will raise each household’s regular monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable benefits based on their CalFresh household size. CalFresh households already receiving the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are not eligible to receive an emergency allotment of CalFresh benefits. Emergency allotments will be issued to eligible CalFresh households for the months of March 2020 through February 2021 based on the schedule listed below.

Benefit Month Issuance Date
November 2020 December 20, 2020
December 2020 January 10, 2021
January 2021 February 14, 2021
February 2021 March 7, 2021

Temporary 15 Percent Benefit Increase

CalFresh benefit allotments will receive a temporary 15% increase as authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 for the period of January 1, 2021 through June 30,
2021. On July 1, 2021, CalFresh benefit amounts will return to the previous Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020-2021 benefit allotment amounts. The temporary CalFresh maximum benefit allotments for the period of January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 by household size are listed in the table below.

COVID-19 Temporary Maximum Allotment by Household Size
January 2021 through June 2021

Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Each Additional Person
Max. Allotment $234 $430 $616 $782 $929 $1114 $1232 $1408 +$176


Temporary Changes to the CalFresh Student Eligibility Rule. If you are a student who is eligible for state or federal work study OR have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0, you may be eligible for CalFresh food benefits. You will need to submit proof with your CalFresh application. These documents are recommended: WORK STUDY: temporary work study verification letter OR a tmeporary work study verification form, $) EFC: A California Student Aid Commission verification letter, A copy of your Student Aid Report, A copy of your financial aid offer letter


CalFresh Food benefits can now be used to buy groceries online from select retailers.
More information
Frequently Asked Questions

Retailer Information
Participating Stores


Los beneficios alimentarios de CalFresh ahora pueden usarse para comprar comestibles EN LÍNEA en tiendas seleccionadas
Más información
Preguntas Frecuentes

Información del minorista
Tiendas Participantes

Are You In Need Of Food Now? Eng | ESP

Current Recipients

If you are currently receiving CalFresh benefits, please call our service center at (866) 663-3225 for assistance. You will be able to talk to a courteous and professional representative who can take care of your CalFresh needs. The service center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Anyone who answers the toll free line will help you immediately with things such as:

  • Reporting CalFresh changes (such as a new address, income, newborn, etc.)
  • Questions about your benefits
  • Assistance with completing forms

Having your CalFresh Case Number or Social Security Number available will help the representative serve you more quickly.

How to Apply for CalFresh:

In Contra Costa County you can apply for CalFresh in several different ways:

  • Complete an online application from any computer 24 hours 7 days a week.
  • Fax a completed application to (925) 228-0310
  • Mail a completed application to any district office listed below.

    Download a CalFresh Application: ENG | ESP
  • Visit any of our 5 district office locations:
East County Central County West County
4545 Delta Fair Boulevard
400 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill
151 Linus Pauling Drive
151 Sand Creek Road
1305 Macdonald Avenue
All office hours: 8:00AM – 5:00PM Monday – Friday

*Minimum requirements to file a CalFresh application:

  1. Applicant’s name and
  2. Household’s address (unless homeless), and
  3. Signature of head of household, any adult household member or an authorized representative, or responsible minor.

Expedited Services

If you are without money for food, you may qualify for emergency CalFresh benefits. Expedited Services will provide eligible households CalFresh benefits by the third calendar day following their application date. A weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is considered one calendar day.

You can qualify for Expedited Services if you meet all other CalFresh requirements, provide identification and

  • your household makes less than $150 in monthly income and has less than $100 on hand right now; or
  • your household’s combined monthly income and money on hand are less than your household’s combined monthly rent and utilities; or
  • you are a migrant or seasonal farm worker and have less than $100 on hand right now.

For questions and assistance, please call the 24 hour toll free automated information line:

(877) 505-4630

For more information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions or visit the State of California CalFresh website.

Important Information About the CalFresh ABAWD Time Limit

As of July 1, 2020 the State of California has been granted a Statewide Waiver to the ABAWD time limit through June 30, 2021.
CalFresh recipients will still need to be screened and identified as a potential ABAWD if not exempt, however there will be no time limits imposed during the waiver.