California’s food stamps program, known as CalFresh, provides monthly food benefits to low-income households over the first 10 days of every month. Payments go out according to the same monthly schedule, and the day you receive your benefits depends on the last digit of your case number.
To receive CalFresh benefits, you must pass an income and resource test and meet work requirements. For most households, the monthly gross income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
To apply for CalFresh benefits, fill out the California Department of Social Services online application at GetCalFresh.org or call the CalFresh Info Line at 877-847-3663. Once approved, the California DSS will mail a CalFresh EBT card to your address, which is linked to your CalFresh account. EBT cards can be used online or swiped at the register like a debit card.
You can use your CalFresh EBT card for additional discounts. For example, CalFresh recipients can sign up for an Amazon Prime EBT discounted subscription for $6.99 per month. CalFresh EBT cards can also be used for free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums, aquariums and zoos nationwide via the Museums For All initiative.
CalFresh benefits go out over the first 10 days of every month, even if that day is a weekend or holiday. The day you receive your benefits depends on the last digit of your case number.
Here’s the CalFresh deposit schedule for March 2023:
|Case # ends in:
CalFresh EBT cards can be used in grocery stores, participating retailers and even farmers’ markets. Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SNAP Retailer Locator, or for a list of farmers’ markets that accept CalFresh benefits, visit here.
Many California farmers’ markets give EBT cardholders the ability to stretch their SNAP dollars through the Market Match program. When you visit California farmers’ markets, make sure to visit a Market Match information booth to receive tokens or paper vouchers to spend on eligible items. Market Match tokens or vouchers will match your CalFresh dollars and some farm-direct outlets will offer a 50% discount instead.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, your CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase most food items, and seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat. CalFresh benefits cannot be used to purchase hot and ready-to-eat foods or non-food items, alcohol and tobacco products.
California does participate in the Restaurant Meals Program, as well. This state option allows certain SNAP recipients who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves to buy prepared meals at restaurants with their SNAP benefits. Not all locations participate in this program, so call ahead and ask if CalFresh EBT cards are accepted.
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