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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 for the program.

How To Apply

Individuals can apply online at the CalFresh website.  If you wish to be assisted by a certified CalFresh advocate throughout the process. please see the on-campus outreach hours here.  Advocates can help students navigate complicated cases, advocate for you with the department of social services, and offer general guidance and support.


In order to be eligible for CalFresh as a student, the student must:
• Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
• Be 18 years of age or older
If you are not a resident, but need food assistance, please contact Financialcrisis@sa.ucsb.edu.

And meet at least ONE of the 4 requirements listed below:
• Have been awarded work study at some point in time during the current academic year (awards from previous years will not be accepted)
• Working a minimum of 20 hours/week
• Are a part of EOP/EOPS
• Receiving Cal Grant A or B

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.

1. A photo ID ( California or Student ID)
2. Proof of units (quarter schedule with name)
3. Financial aid award letter
4. Work-study award verification OR proof of EOP (registration tab of GOLD).
5. Social security card (For permanent residents, bring a copy of the front and back of the green card)
6. Proof of residency (anything with your name in your current address)
7. Rent receipt (Barc statement for UC housing or first page of lease for local residents)
8. Utility bill or cell phone bill
9. If you are working, bring a dated check stub for the last 30 days