Online workshop held to help students apply for food assistance

Assistant Manager of Calfresh Outreach Erika Ledbetter, held an online virtual meeting on May 6 showing Cosumnes River College students how to apply for CalFresh (EBT) benefits. Along with answering questions towards the end of the meeting.

CalFresh, formerly known as food stamps provides monthly allotments for food purchases to low-income households in which funds are loaded onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

“CalFresh accepts applications on a continuous basis, applications do not have deadlines,” said CRC Supervisor of Student Life and Leadership Oscar Mendoza.

Food purchases allowed using CalFresh are fresh produce, dairy products, meat, fish, poultry and frozen foods.

Deli departments in grocery stores serve both warm and cold food items to guests though guests can only purchase cold deli items using CalFresh benefits as the only form of payment unless the recipient is homeless, disabled, elderly or does not have access to a kitchen.

In order to qualify for CalFresh, households with one applicant must have monthly gross earnings of less than $2,082 up to the max limit of four applicants in one household earning a combined gross monthly income of less than $4,292.

Students who qualify for CalFresh are those who fall between the age groups of 18-49 years old, attend school at least halftime and who fall under the gross income max based on household size.

CalFresh defines household size as the total number of applicants from the same residence. Therefore, if your household has eight people total but you’re the only one applying, you would list your CalFresh household as one for one person applying to get benefits.

Students must meet one of the following requirements in addition to qualify for CalFresh benefits; work at least 20 hours per week on average, be approved for state or federal work-study money and anticipate working during the term, a full-time student with a child under age 12, a part-time student with a child under age six, a part-time student with a child age six through 11 without adequate child care, receiving CalWorks or enrolled in CalFresh employment and training or another job training program accepted by CalFresh.

Students who meet one of the exemptions listed can sign up for benefits by reaching out to their college’s financial aid or CalWorks offices to receive a CalFresh application assistance referral. Students can also contact Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services by phone at (916) 456-1980, by e-mail [email protected], apply online at or contact the Department of Human Assistance at (916) 874-3100.

CalFresh benefits are accepted at grocery stores including membership stores like Costco, Winco and Sam’s Club. CalFresh is also accepted as payment for purchases of similar items sold at gas stations.

CalFresh Outreach Assistant Manager Erika Ledbetter can be contacted by email at 

[email protected] or by phone (916) 456-1980 and (916) 925-3240.