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CalFresh & the CSU
Cal Fresh Logo  

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program funded by the USDA that can help students buy the food they need to live healthy and active lifestyles. It may help stretch a tight food budget by allowing students to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diet.  


Most CSU campuses have dedicated CalFresh Outreach programs to help students with the application process to find out if they qualify for this benefit.

Student Eligibility for CalFresh

There are several criteria students must meet in order to qualify for CalFresh benefits. For example, low-income students who work an average of 20 hours a week, those approved for Federal Work Study, or receive a Cal Grant (A or B), may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits.

Learn More About How to Qualify

How to Apply for CalFresh

Contact your Campus CalFresh Outreach Center to gain access to the online application portal and recieve support over the 30-day application process. Use the drop-down menu below to find an Outreach Center on your campus or get help with your CalFresh application. If you cannot find an outreach specialist on your campus, apply for CalFresh Online.

Campus CalFresh Outreach Centers

Some CSU campuses have dedicated CalFresh Outreach Centers to pre-screen students and help eligible students apply for benefits.



How Does CalFresh Work?

Recipients receive and “spend” benefits electronically, via an EBT card that looks like a credit card. You can use benefits to buy food at many grocery stores and markets, including some farmers markets.

Learn More

More Questions?

Contact your on-campus CalFresh Outreach specialist.

Read the FAQ


For Campuses: How to Start a CalFresh Outreach Program

The CSU Chico Center for Healthy Communities leads the CSU’s CalFresh Outreach programs and can help other campuses become federally funded subcontractors under the 2018-2021 California Higher Ed CalFresh Outreach Contract. 

How to become a new subcontracting campus

Collecting information and communication to students