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Food Security Project

CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance

Orange you glad we can help you stock your cupboard with CalFresh

 

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help many people afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets. CalFresh is the name of the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the state of California. Recipients receive and “spend” CalFresh benefits electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.

The CalFresh Outreach Program is funded through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and is implemented in partnership with county social services offices. It assists people through the entire CalFresh application process, including assistance with the application itself, obtaining verification documents, navigating the 30-day application period, as well as the renewal process.

The Amendola Family Student Cupboard offers application assistance for Fresno State students and their families. Students can make an appointment with a member of our team, or students can apply on their own by completing the application online. When completing the application on your own, be sure to allow us to keep your contact information so that we can follow up with you throughout the process to insure you receive your benefits. 

You can find basic eligibility information and college student eligibility on the Center for Healthy Communities CFO website. 

The CalFresh application process is fairly simple, and our team is here to help you along the way.

Step 1: Complete the CalFresh Interest Form on your Student Portal or make an appointment with a member of our team to go through the pre-screening process.  

Step 2: If you think you may be eligible, complete and submit the CalFresh Application online yourself, or through an appointment with a member of our team. 

Step 3: Once the application is received by the county, your 30-day application period begins.

Step 4: During this 30 day period, you will need to do the following:

  • Complete your INTERVIEW with the county office by phone or in person (The county office will either call or mail you a date and time for your interview)
  • Let your CalFresh Outreach Team know if you have not heard from the county within the first 7 days

Step 5: You will then be required to provide verification documents to your county office. This must also be completed during the 30 day period. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit verification documents that meet their requirements.

Examples of verification documentation include:

  • Copy of ID
  • Proof of address
  • Utility Bill
  • Pay stubs
  • Financial aid award letter and schedule (if a student)

Step 6: In order to keep your CalFresh benefits, you will be required to do the following:

  • Complete a Semiannual Report (called a SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. They County will let you know when this is due.
  • Complete a Recertification Application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period. The County will let you know when your Recertification Application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your interview. Most interviews will be conducted over the phone.

Every month the Food Security Project puts out a newsletter called The Hungry Times which includes helpful tips, resources and recipes. You can find archived versions of this newsletter below: