| |

Everything You Need To Know About CalFresh Card 2021

If you are approved to use a CalFresh card, also known as California EBT, it can qualify you for some amazing benefits you wouldn’t want to miss. This article will guide you on what you need to know about CalFresh Card.

The CalFresh program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores. The amount of the benefit is based on the size of your household, your income, and your housing expenses.

CalFresh benefits come on a plastic card, called the Golden State Advantage Card, which you can use just like a bank card at most food stores.

This article will focus on:

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is a nutrition program that can help households buy healthy foods. In California, CalFresh used to be known as the Food Stamp Program. Nationally, the program is called SNAP.

It is funded by the federal government. CalFresh benefits are issued on an EBT card that works like a debit card and can be used at most grocery stores and many farmers markets to purchase food.

Using CalFresh

CalFresh benefits are issued on an EBT card that works like a debit card. You can use it at most grocery stores and many farmers markets.

When you use CalFresh at farmers markets, some offer a Market Match program which gives additional dollars to spend at the farmer’s market.

Food Items Eligible With CalFresh 

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Beans, fish, poultry, meat;
  • Rice, bread, tortillas, cereal;
  • Milk and cheese; and
  • Seeds and plants that produce food.

Food Items Non-Eligible With CalFresh 

  • Alcohol, tobacco, cigarettes;
  • Non-food items (pet food, toilet paper, diapers, soap, etc.);
  • Vitamins and medicine;
  • Foods that will be eaten in the store; and
  •  And Hot foods (unless your county participates in the Restaurant Meals Program).

CalFresh Card Required Documents

CalFresh Card Required Documents

The County needs proof of the information you give in the application. The County will need to have one document for each type of your verification category before your application can be certified.

If you are eligible to Expedited Services, at the time of your application you will need to show your identification, only.

The other information can be given to the County later. If you aren’t eligible for expedited services you need to provide necessary documents with the initial application.

Applicants need to show only ONE document for each category of verification. (For example, to show the applicants identity you can show EITHER your: birth certificate, or driver’s license, or paycheck or voter registration card.)



Identity of applicantBirth certificate


Driver’s license


Voter registration card

School records

U.S. Passport

Social Security NumbersOnly the members are required to be verified in CalFresh. Proof of application for SSN will suffice if no number exits.
Immigration statusAll documents and forms must be verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE). Verification of immigration status shall only be required for those noncitizen household members who are applying for CalFresh. The I-688 is not acceptable verification document; the I-94 is acceptable depending as to what type of information is provided on the form and if USCIS approves of such information.
ResidenceDriver’s license


Check stub

Rent or mortgage receipt

Utility bill

Earned incomeDated check stubs for the last 30 days


Statement from your employer

Copy of last year’s tax return

Other incomeA current benefit check


Copies of child support checks

Alimony checks

Award letters

Statement from the college financial aid office

ResourcesNote: Resources will only apply to Expedited Service eligibility determination.


Bank statements showing savings and checking accounts

Mortgage statements

Life insurance policies

Statements of stocks, bonds or certificates of deposit (CDs)

Housing and Other billsMortgage or rent receipts


Lease or statement from your landlord

Property tax statement

Utility bills

Medical billsOnly needed for household members who are aged 60 years or older or permanently disabled


Billing statement

Itemized receipts

Child CareChild care receipt which includes:



Date paid

Name(s) of person(s) care was provided for

Signature of provider and date

Locations that Accept CalFresh Card

The USDA approves retails stores for participation in the CalFresh program. Generally, stores must offer a variety of “staple foods” including perishable foods.

Among the locations commonly approved to accept CalFresh EBT are:

  • Markets and grocers: Most supermarkets, corner stores, and other grocers accept CalFresh.
  • Farmers’ markets: In 2007 alone, almost half a million dollars in CalFresh were used at farmers’ markets in California. Not all farmers’ markets accept CalFresh, but the number is increasing.
  • Flea markets: California is the first state in the nation to allow the use of SNAP benefits at flea markets. Few flea markets currently participate, though the program will likely expand to those with significant food sales.
  • Restaurants: A restaurant meals program was launched to allow homeless, disabled, and elderly households to purchase hot food. Counties can choose to participate in the program. The California EBT Project maintains a list of participating counties.
  • Special programs: If authorized by USDA, drug, and alcohol rehabilitation programs, shelters for battered women and children, group living arrangements, and public or private nonprofit homeless meal providers can purchase food on behalf of their residents. In some cases, these residential programs can redeem CalFresh benefits directly.
  • Online purchases: CalFresh EBT benefits cannot be used to buy food on the Internet. For technical and security reasons, USDA does not permit Internet EBT purchases.

Read Also:



1. Does it cost money to apply for CalFresh?

No. Applying for CalFresh is free and does not require a credit check.

2. Can I qualify if I do not have a family?

Individuals can qualify for CalFresh. You do not have to have children to qualify.

3. Can I get CalFresh if I’m in college?

You may be able to qualify, see the student section and read more about eligibility in the CalFresh Guide. However, even if you do not qualify, others in your household may.

4. How do I use my CalFresh benefits?

CalFresh benefits are issued on an EBT card that works like a debit card. You can use it at most grocery stores and many farmers markets.

5. I lost my EBT card. How do I get another one?

Call 1-877-328-9677 to report your EBT card lost or stolen.

Was this article useful? If Yes! Please leave your comment. For more related articles, subscribe to our blog.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *