Frequently Asked Questions About CalFresh 

What can CalFresh benefits be used to purchase?
CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase:

  • Foods for human consumption.
  • Seeds and plants to grow food for household use.


What can you not purchase with CalFresh benefits? CalFresh benefits cannot be used to purchase:

  • Any non-food item such as pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items and cosmetics.
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
  • Vitamins and medicines.
  • Any food that will be eaten in the store. *
  • Any food marketed to be heated in the store. *

 * Except in a restaurant located in a county approved to operate a restaurant meals program.

Who can receive CalFresh benefits?
You may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits, whether or not you work, if you have a low income.

What is the amount of CalFresh benefits I will receive?
The amount of CalFresh benefits a low-income person or family can receive is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Thrifty Food Plan. The plan estimates how much it costs to provide a household with nutritious, low-cost meals. The estimates are revised every year to keep pace with changes in food prices. The average amount of CalFresh benefits received per household is about $200 per month.

What is the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)?
CFAP is a state-funded Calfresh program for legal permanent non-citizens residing in the U.S., and determined ineligible for federal food stamp benefits solely due to their immigration status.

Where do I go to apply for CalFresh benefits?
There are over 240 Calfresh offices in California operated by local county welfare departments. Low-income people may apply for CalFresh at any office located in the county where they live. To find information on your county click on the link County Welfare Departments. Also, there may be other locations were you can apply for CalFresh benefits. You may also file online at the Benefitscal.org Website.

If I am receiving SSI/SSP, can I also receive CalFresh benefits?
If you are receiving SSI/SSP, you cannot receive CalFresh benefits in California. However, other household members may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits.