CalFresh, California’s version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides monthly food assistance to low-income households that meet eligibility guidelines. Benefits are distributed monthly to CalFresh accounts linked to CalFresh EBT cards.
EBT cards can be used in grocery stores and participating farmers markets. Your benefits can be used to purchase most food items, plus seeds and plants that grow food for your household to eat. However, exceptions include any food that can be eaten or heated in the store.
According to the California Department of Social Services, some farmers markets give CalFresh recipients twice the amount of produce they pay for. Simply swipe your EBT card in the card reader machine and enter your PIN to use your benefits. Make sure to keep your receipt, which shows your current SNAP account balance after making your purchase.
California also participates in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), a state option that allows certain SNAP recipients who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves to be able to buy prepared meals at restaurants with their SNAP benefits.
To be eligible for RMP, you must be either:
- Age 60 or older
- The spouse of a SNAP client who is eligible for the RMP
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. The date your benefits are deposited onto your CalFresh EBT card depends on the last digit of your case number. Benefits are deposited on the assigned day, even if that day is a weekend or holiday.
Here’s the CalFresh EBT deposit schedule for July 2022:
|Case # Ends In||Benefits Available|
More From GOBankingRates