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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.  

Students can only qualify for CalFresh if they meet specific criteria. You are considered a student if you are:

  • Between the ages of 18-49 and are physically and mentally "fit" for employment (not disabled)
  • Enrolled at least half-time (6 units) at an institution for higher education

If you are considered a student, you can get CalFresh if you meet at least one of the following exemptions:

  • Work at least 20 hours per week (on average)
  • Approve and awarded TANF-funded Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B
  • Approved for state or federal work-study money and have not refused any job assignments
  • A full-time student who is a single parent to a child under 12
  • A part-time student with a child (age 6-11) without adequate childcare
  • Receiving CalWORKs benefits
  • Enrolled in CalFresh employment and training or another training program accepted by CalFresh
  • Do not plan to register for the next school term

Student eligibility rules do not apply to you if you are:

  • Age 17 and under or age 50 and older
  • Physically and mentally "unfit" for employment
  • In high school
  • Enrolled less than half-time
  • Enrolled in programs or classes that do not require high school
  • Enrolled in schools that are not considered institutions of higher education