Application Process

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If you applied for CalFresh, PLEASE CALL THE COUNTY TO COMPLETE YOUR INTERVIEW. The county is no longer calling during scheduled appointments (please disregard any appointment notices). Call your county. 

Application Process

Step 1: Fill out the Eligibility Prescreen Form to see if you could receive benefits. 

Step 2: Schedule a CalFresh Appointment to receive help with completing your CalFresh Online Application or on your own. You can also schedule an appointment to ask our CalFresh Team any questions. 

Step 3: Send in your verification documents to Send Documents

NOTE: Your 30-day application period begins after it is received by the county. Due to the high number of applications being submitted right now, this application period could take up to 60 days or more.

Step 4: Complete your CalFresh Interview with the county office by phone. YOU will need to call the county office that you are applying for CalFresh in, the county office will NOT be calling you. You may also visit a CalFresh county office in person. 

Step 5: Submit your verification documents. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit these. Use the Verification Document Checklist to view the list of documents you can use to provide proper verification. 

Step 6: In order to keep your CalFresh benefits, you will be required to do the following every 6 months:

  • Complete a Semiannual Report (SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. The county will let you know when this is due.

  • Complete a Recertification Application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period. The county will let you know when this application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your phone call interview.

NOTE: It’s important to keep your mailing address updated with the county so that you receive important documents that pertain to your CalFresh eligibility.


You will need to provide documents to verify your CalFresh eligibility. Use the following links to gather your verification documents and determine your eligibility. 

If you do not qualify for CalFresh, please visit our Food Resources web page for information about other free food options.

  • If you are currently working on campus or enrolled in a LPIE at Sonoma State (see list), please contact our team at for a verification letter to include with your application.

  • If you currently live on campus and have a full access meal plan, you are not eligible for CalFresh benefits. Please consider applying when this status changes and visit our Food Resources web page for information about other free food options. You may qualify if you have a partial meal plan.
  • If you are currently receiving any loans, stipends, or financial gifts, you will need to report them as income. If you are using these funds to cover school fees (e.g. registration, books, etc.) or living expenses (e.g. housing, utilities, etc.), you can provide proof of these expenses to offset your income. 
  • If you are currently living at home with your parents and are under the age of 22, but you plan to move out on your own in the near future, we recommend you wait to apply for CalFresh until you are out on your own. You cannot apply for benefits based on future living or income assumptions. You can only apply based on your current living situation.

  • If you live with roommates, but purchase and cook your own meals, you are considered a single household.

  • If you are under 18 and live with your parents or guardians, you will need to apply for benefits as a household. 

  • If you are not eligible for CalFresh, remember that other people in your household may still qualify.

Step I: Collect Verification Documents

Collect all documents necessary from each category below before you start your online CalFresh application. Please note that this is a “suggested” list of acceptable verifications. Depending on your specific situation, you may need to provide something different from what is listed. 

Step II: Submit Online

Submit your verification documents with your online CalFresh application using your computer or phone. A copy or picture of your documents is sufficient proof. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is preferable that you submit verification along with your application. However, if you cannot submit these documents when you submit your application, you add them to your application later at​ You will need your case number from your application in order to submit these documents. 

Identification (choose one):

  • Driver’s License

  • State ID Card

  • School ID Card

  • Birth Certificate

Social Security Number (if you have one)

Living Expenses (whichever applies):

  • Rental/Lease Agreement 

  • Mortgage Receipt

  • Self-Declaration: Self-written paper declaring your rent (include date and signature) 

Income (if working):

  • Pay Stubs

Proof of Eligibility (provide all that apply to you):

  • Cal Grant Acceptance: Letter from California Student Aid Commission (see Obtain CalGrant A or B Letter section below) 

  • Work-Study Approval: Financial Aid Award Letter from

  • Local Programs that Increase Employability (obtain by emailing

Proof of Student Status:

Obtain CalGrant A or Letter:

For the Cal Grant Acceptance verification, you will need to submit a letter from the California Aid Commission that says your Cal Grant is TANF funded. Unfortunately, if your CalGrant is not TANF funded, it won’t qualify. To find your letter, use any of the following options: 

  • Option I: Search your email inbox that you used to apply for financial aid. Find the letter that the California Student Aid Commission sent you about your CalGrant.

  • Option III: Request a copy of the notification through the Commission’s Student Support unit at             1-888-224-7268 or at


Request CalFresh Letter Email Template:


My name is _(Your name as it appears on FAFSA)_. I am receiving Cal Grant ____. My CSAC ID is _____. In order to verify my CalFresh eligibility as a student, I need the CalFresh eligibility letter. I may have misplaced it or never received it. Can you please send this letter to me by email?

Thank you,

___(Your name as it appears on FAFSA)____

Have questions or need help getting documents? Email

After you have gone through the process of applying for CalFresh we would appreciate your feedback on how we are doing.

To help us better our program we ask that you fill out this form: