CalFresh Outreach Project

Promoting resources that address student hunger.

Two-thirds of California Community College students face food insecurity. The Chancellor’s Office and FoundationCCC are collaborating on a statewide effort with multiple partners, including CSU Chico’s Center for Healthy Communities, to promote CalFresh among students.

By educating students about the program and encouraging them to apply, we hope to reduce stigma around the program. The CalFresh outreach project is funded in part by USDA, SNAP, known in California as CalFresh, an equal opportunity provider and employer, and the California Department of Social Services.

Program Services

Streamlining access through technology.

Built by Code for America, a nonprofit in partnership with the California Department of Social Services, students.getcalfresh.org helps guide California’s students through the process of getting CalFresh benefits. Through a friendly and respectful experience, eligibility and the application process are streamlined by removing barriers to access.  

Spreading awareness with social media resources.

To ensure help spread awareness, we have developed outreach materials that can be used to promote CalFresh services to students on campus, including digital postcards, social media images, and example copy for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Peer-to-peer outreach.

Additionally, campuses can utilize the California Community Colleges Student Ambassador Program to effectively promote CalFresh directly to students. Using peer-to-peer outreach, student ambassadors in the program serve as on-campus advocates to educate their peers about the resources available to them to remove basic needs obstacles such as food insecurity.

Program Benefits

  • Digital outreach material

  • Peer-to-peer outreach

  • Decreased food insecurity stigma

  • Access to local & fresh produce

FoundationCCC offers a variety of support around CalFresh outreach including access to an outreach toolkit and digital outreach material as well as assistance to help colleges connect with CalFresh application assistance in their area, provide training around CalFresh outreach, and share outreach best practices.

One of the most powerful CalFresh outreach tools is student peer-to-peer outreach. Students are trained through FoundationCCC’s Community College Student Ambassador Program around CalFresh outreach in order to build awareness, increase access, and decrease stigma around this food assistance program. 

Students who participate in CalFresh receive an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card accepted at most grocery stores and farmers markets. Targeted outreach helps maximize CalFresh benefits, such as the Market Match program, which doubles CalFresh benefits at participating farmer’s markets increasing participants’ access to local and fresh produce.

Program Impact

  • 5,500+ CalFresh Applications

    have been submitted through the California Community Colleges specific referral application.

Eligibility

To be potentially eligible for CalFresh, students must satisfy at least ONE of these qualifications:

  • Working an average of 20 hours per week or a total of 80 hours per month
  • Been awarded work-study during the current academic year
  • Approved for TANF-funded Cal Grant A or B
  • Responsible for the care of a child under the age of 6
  • Are a single parent and taking care of a child under the age of 12
    • Be enrolled in a program that helps improve employability:
      • CalFresh Employment and Training Program, including Fresh Success
      • Participating in CalWORKS or Tribal TANF
      • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
  • Enrolled in an approved Career and Technical Assistance Program

Additional student programs have been approved to qualify students for a student exemption.
They are listed here along with all approved Local Programs that Increase Employability (LPIE):
*Note: Under Student Resources, select “CalFresh Student Eligibility: List of Approved LPIEs”

Partners