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Food Security and CalFresh Advocates

Hello and Welcome, 

The UCSB Food Security and Calfresh Advocates are here to connect you to food and financial resources, and assist you with your Calfresh application. Please start by reading through this page, and then meet with an advocate who will assist you (see our Outreach Hours listed below) . If you have any questions, email us at UCSBCalfresh@gmail.com

The UCSB Food Security and Calfresh Team 

We welcome all UCSB students, regardless of immigration status, gender, or sexual orientation. All UCSB students are welcome.

What is Food Security and Calfresh Advocate? 

The Food Security and Calfresh Advocates are UCSB students who are aware of the broad variety of basic needs resources that UCSB and the local community have to offer, including those focused on food, financial, and housing security.  If you aren't sure what resources are available and/or what resources might be helpful for you, the advocates can help point you in the right direction. Resources may include: 

  • Places and programs to help students access free or discounted food
  • Emergency grants and support services 
  • Financial literacy workshops and advising
  • Educational programs that focus on how to cook on a budget
  • Affordable housing opportunities 
  • and More! 

    What is CalFresh?

The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can increase students’ food budgets and help put healthy and nutritious food on their table. The program issues monthly electronic benefits on a plastic card, called the Golden State Advantage Card, which can be used just like a debit card. Benefits allow students to purchase food items at most grocery stores and markets. For a full list of stores that accept CalFresh, please click here.

The amount of benefits received is based on household size, income, and bills. The CalFresh Program helps improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them with a means to meet their nutritional needs. Since this is a federally funded program, only permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. can qualify.

How To Apply

We recommend that you meet with a UCSB Calfresh Advocate who can walk you through the application process (please see outreach hours below).  Advocates can also help students navigate complicated cases, advocate for you with the department of social services, and offer general guidance and support. You can also apply on your own online at the CalFresh website, but we strongly recommend that you meet with an advocate who can assist you, and advocate your case if needed with the Department of Social Services


In order to be eligible for CalFresh as a student, the student must:
(1) Be 18 years of age or older
(2) Be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
        If you are not a resident, but need food assistance, please contact Financialcrisis@sa.ucsb.edu.
(3) And meet at least ONE of the qualifications listed below:

  • Have been awarded work study at some point during the current academic year (awards from previous years will not be accepted)
  • Work a minimum of 20 hours/week
  • Receive Cal Grant A or B
  • EOP/EOPS member (does not apply to EOP associates)
  • Puente Program
  • College Disabled Student Program and Services/ Student Academic Support
  • Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) Program
  • UC McNair Program
  • Mathematics, Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program
  • Guardian Scholars Program
  • AB12 Former Foster Youth Program  

What Should I Bring?

To expedite the application process, please bring a copy of all of the following documents. Have questions about the documents? Bring as many of the documents as you can and the CalFresh advocates can guide you through the rest.

  • Bring your laptop if you have one (if not, you can use ours). 
  • Identification: Birth Certificate, Driver License, CA ID, or U.S Passport
  • Social Security Number: Social Security Card
  • Immigration status: Permanent Resident Card (only required for non-citizens)
  • Earned Income: Dated check stubs for the last 30 days, statement of earnings from employer (if you are a UC employee, statements can be found at http://atyourservicesonline.ucop.edu)
  • Housing: Mortgage or rent receipt, first page of your lease agreement, or statement from your landlord/subletter
  • Utilities or Other Bills: gas, electricity, water, or telephone (1-2 recommended)

College Students (ALL 3 Required)

  • Proof of involvement in one of the 11 programs listed above. (For example, you may access proof of EOP at https://my.sa.ucsb.edu/gold/login > Registration > Print)


Food Security and Calfresh Outreach Hours and Locations

April 1, 2019 - June 7, 2019
Stay tuned for summer outreach hours. We will be on campus all summer to assist with applications! 

Visit any of the following locations throughout the week to talk with a Food Security and Calfresh Advocate:

El Centro - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
AS Food Bank - 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD) - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

El Centro - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD) - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Miramar Center - 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
IV Food Co-Op - 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

El Centro - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
AS Food Bank - 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) - 2:15 pm to 5:00 pm
Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD) - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

El Centro - 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
AS Food Bank - 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (RCSGD) - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm

El Centro - 10:15 am to 4:00 pm
AS Food Bank - 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Student Health - 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm

By appointment


If you have questions, you may contact email: UCSBCalfresh@gmail.com

For any changes in your circumstances, you may contact the Department of Social Services Benefit Service Center at 1-844-2894682. This is a number for people who already have benefits to report changes in income, residence, etc.
Pro tip: If they are busy, you can leave your name and they will call you back. 

    Upcoming Events

  • Check back in later to stay updated on events!

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