Californians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do so through the state’s CalFresh program, which sends payments out every month according to the same schedule. That schedule also applies to October 2022.
CalFresh provides monthly food assistance to low-income households that meet state and federal eligibility guidelines. Benefits are distributed to CalFresh accounts linked to CalFresh Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, though it is administered at the state level.
If you are eligible for SNAP benefits, they’ll be deposited monthly into your personal EBT account. The EBT cards can be used in grocery stores and other retailers, certain restaurants, and participating farmers’ markets. According to the California Department of Social Services, some farmers’ markets give CalFresh recipients twice the amount of produce they pay for.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase the following food items:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat
Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics.
To find out where you can use your CalFresh benefits, check the USDA’s SNAP Retailer Locator. Once there, click “Enter the SNAP Retailer Locator” and enter your address. For a list of farmer’s markets that accept CalFresh benefits, the USDA has a local food portal that lets you search by food type and location.
California also participates in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), a state option that lets certain SNAP recipients who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves use benefits to buy prepared food at restaurants. Not all locations participate in this program, so call ahead and ask if CalFresh EBT cards are accepted.
You can apply for CalFresh benefits online at GetCalFresh.org or by calling the CalFresh Info Line at 877-847-3663. If you qualify for expedited CalFresh benefits, you could receive benefits on the same day or within three days following the date your application is received.
CalFresh benefits are distributed over the first 10 days of each month, with specific dates determined by the last digit of your case number. Benefits are deposited on the assigned day even if it falls on a weekend or holiday.
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Here’s the CalFresh EBT deposit schedule for October 2022:
|Case # ends in:||Benefits available:|
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