CalFresh Outreach Center

collage of fresh fruits and vegetables across the top, Cal Fresh Food logo at the bottom right corner.

CalFresh = Money for Groceries

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, provides monthly benefits to purchase groceries for low-income individuals and families. The benefit amount a household receives is dependent on household size, income, and monthly expenses. The program issues monthly benefits through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that works just like a debit card and can be used at most local grocery stores and some farmer’s markets. 

The staff of Cal State LA's CalFresh Outreach Center can assist, advise, and advocate with the CalFresh application process. We help students determine their eligibility, obtain verification documents, navigate the 30-day application period, semi-annual reportings, and the renewal process. Please fill out the Pre-Screening form and we will contact you to schedule an appointment within 1-3 business days.

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for CalFresh you must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

Your household income must be under the limits listed in the following table:

household = a person living alone or a group of people living together who purchase and prepare food together.

2023-2024 Income & Eligibility Limits (Effective Oct. 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024)

Number of People in Household

Gross Monthly Income

Max CalFresh Allotment
















Your household must include at least one U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

*Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students are not eligible for this federally funded program. 

If you are enrolled at least half-time and between ages 18 - 49, you are considered a student under the CalFresh program and therefore, must meet one of the "student exemptions" below.


  • Work 20+ hours a week
  • Employed at Cal State LA
  • Cal Grant A or B recipient
  • Enrolled in Federal Work Study
  • Enrolled in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Participant in Guardian Scholars Program
  • Participating in a Research or Teaching Assistantship
  • CalWORKs Recipient or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  • Student with a child between 6 -12 years old with no adequate child care
  • Unable to work and registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD)
  • Enrolled in a CalFresh Local Employment Program that Increases Employability 

Do you have access to more than half (11+) meals a week from another source like an on campus meal plan?

If so, this can potentially make you ineligible because your local county will determine you are food secure.

The Cal State LA Meal Plans that give students access to more than 11 meals a week include: All Access 7 Plus, All Access 5 Plus, and Block 200. 


Application Process

If you think you may be eligible, please complete our Pre-Screening Form 

Once we receive the form, a CalFresh team member will contact you to schedule an appointment. 

Meet with a CalFresh Intern to submit an application through and upload the required verification documents. 

Examples of verification documentation include:

  • Copy of ID
  • Proof of address and rent/mortgage receipt 
  • Utility bill(s)
  • Pay stubs of income from the last 30-days
  • Financial aid award letter and class schedule

Complete an interview with a county eligibility worker over the phone. 

Your local county should be in contact with you 1-2 weeks after you submit an application. Otherwise, you should call them to request an interview. You can find the number of your local county office through this link. If you qualified for "Expedited Service" they should be in contact you within 3 business days. 


If approved, you will be required to complete the following:

  • SAR 7 Report - six months after your initial application is approved, the county will mail the SAR 7 to the mailing address you provided at the time of your application. 
  • Recertification Application - after a year of receiving benefits, the county will mail you a packet and schedule a follow-up interview if necessary. 

Meet the CalFresh Advocate Team

CalFresh team member smiling

CalFresh team member smiling

CalFresh team member smiling

CalFresh team member smiling

This website was funded by USDA, SNAP, known in California as CalFresh, an equal opportunity provider and employer, and the California Department of Social Services.