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CalFresh - Better Food for Better Living

The CalFresh Program, California’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP and formerly known as Food Stamps, assists low-income individuals and households to purchase nutritional food. You do not have to be on welfare to get CalFresh benefits. Eligibility for CalFresh assistance, as well as the benefit amount, is based on your household’s size and income level.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

If you qualify for CalFresh assistance, you will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. You can use your EBT card like a debit card to purchase food items at most grocery and convenience stores, and local markets, as well as some co-ops and farmers market. Check your account balance, find retailers and ATMS that accept the EBT card at the California EBT Client website (new window).

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) provides opportunities to income qualified households to learn about healthy eating, obesity prevention, and physical activities along with food distribution activities.

  • Passion for Produce (P4P) is a peer-run nutrition class followed by free produce distribution providing the ingredients, education, and support for making healthy eating choices.
  • Food for Children (FFC) distributes fresh produce and other food, along with nutritional information, healthy food tastings, and options for physical activities.

The P4P program is open to everyone while the FFC program is restricted to income eligible households. To see if you are eligible for the FFC program read the CDSS Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) 2015 Income Guidelines.

Note: Class times are subject to change. Please contact the Community Food Hotline at 831-662-0991 to verify class availability.

CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program

Introducing the CalFresh* Restaurant Meals Program!

Santa Cruz County’s Restaurant Meals Program enables eligible CalFresh recipients to purchase a nutritious prepared meal at participating restaurants with their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

Who Can Use the Program

The Restaurant Meals Program is available to persons that receive CalFresh who:

  • Are experiencing homelessness;
  • Are age 60 or over; or
  • Have a disability.

Restaurant Meals Program participants can continue to use their CalFresh benefits at grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other locations that accept EBT cards.

Where Can You Use the Program

Participating restaurants will have an EBT Cards Accepted Here sign displayed.

The following restaurants are participating in the Restaurant Meals Program:

  • Subway
    • 1964 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA 95076, (831) 763-0583
    • 825 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 459-8737
    • 2215 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 427-2212
    • 811 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 291-3600
  • Togo’s Sandwiches
    • 849-B Almar Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA  95060, (831) 431-6889
    • 902 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, (831) 471-2488

For more information, please contact the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department at (888) 421-8080.

CalFresh Employment and Training Program

This program provides homeless individuals who are receiving CalFresh with opportunities that lead to paid employment and self-sufficiency.  For more information please contact your Benefit Representative.