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  • CalFresh (also known as Food Stamps or SNAP) helps people with limited income buy healthy food.
  • CalFresh benefits are deposited to your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) car. It is private and works like a debit card. It can be used at grocery stores and farmer's markets.
  • CalFresh is a nutrition program like WIC (Women Infants and Children) or free lunches at school, not a welfare program. The taxes you have paid help fund CalFresh.

Who can get CalFresh? 

  • You can get CalFresh even if you get money from a job, disability, unemployment, Social Security, CalWORKs, General Assistance, or retirement.
  • If you get SSI (Supplemental Security Income) you are not eligible for CalFresh. However, your family members may be eligible.
  • To qualify, at least one household member must be an eligible immigrant or citizen. That person can be a child.
  • If you are an immigrant and receive CalFresh benefits it will not affect your ability to become a US citizen or legal resident. Sponsored immigrants may also be eligible.
  • Single people and couples without children may get CalFresh.
  • Many college students can get CalFresh if they meet student requirements.

What else should you know about CalFresh?

  • On average, households helped by Food Bank get more than $250 per month to buy nutritious food.
  • You can own your home, car, have savings and still be eligible. You do not need to report CalFresh on your tax return,
  • CalFresh is not a loan. You do not need to pay back benefits that you receive, unless you are overpaid.
  • CalFresh is intended to make sure that you and your family can get the nutritious food you need to live a healthy life. CalFresh is safe, free, and confidential and it will not harm your children:
    • Children will not have to serve in the military
    • Children will not have to pay it back
    • Children will not be taken away from you

If you have applied for CalFresh before and were denied, you should try again. New laws have passed to make it easier!

Outreach Manager: Amy Lopez (805) 967-5741 ext. 115 /
*Contact Amy if you need help with the application process or have any issues applying online and/or receiving food stamps!

How to Apply:

*In California, each county may have a different way to apply for CalFresh benefits.

  1. Apply in your county​​
    • To apply for stamps in Santa Barbara County, contact any of the County Department of Social Services officers:

      1100 West Laurel Avenue, Lompoc (805) 373-7080
      2125 S. Centerpointe Pkwy, Santa Maria (805) 346-7135
      234 Camino Del Remedio, Santa Barbara (805) 681-4404

    • You may also apply online at the E-Benefits California Website

    • When your application have been turned in, the county welfare department will set up an interview to go over your application. You will need to provide certain documents (i.e. proof of identity, SSN, proof of income—if employed, etc.).

  2. Interview
    • ​​An interview is required before certifying your household to get CalFresh benefits. The interview can occur in the county office or by telephone. The interview may be held with the head of household, spouse, the authorized representative, or any other responsible household family member. An interview is required annually.
    • An eligibility worker will explain the program rules and help your household complete any parts of the application that have not yet been completed.

After the interview, the CalFresh office will send a notice. If your household does not qualify for CalFresh benefits, the notice will explain why. If your household does qualify, the notice will explain how much the CalFresh benefit will be for your household. It will also explain how many months you can receive CalFresh benefits (certification period) before being recertified. 

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