CalFresh, known federally as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), provides a monthly cash supplement loaded onto a debit/EBT card to purchase groceries. CalFresh assistance has helped many students who are experiencing budget restraints. 

CalFresh has helped many students                                                   Santa Clara & San Mateo Residents >>> Request CalFresh Sign Up Assistance from Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
Students outside of Santa Clara & San Mateo counties (including other states) please consider this National SNAP Directory.

Common Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet all of the following for college student eligibility: 

  • Between ages 18-49
  • Enrolled at least half-time as an SJSU student
  • Not on a campus meal plan with 11+ meals per week
  • Be mentally and physically fit for work

Students must meet at least one of the following exemptions:

  • Work an average of 20+ hours per week
  • Have a child/dependent 12 or younger
  • Receive CalGrant A or B
  • In a Local Program that Increases Employability (LPIE)
  • Participating in Work Study

Remember, if you’ve recently experienced a loss or decrease in employment income, you may be newly eligible for CalFresh, and should reapply. 


Upcoming changes:  

  • The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration has ended. College Student Eligibility will revert to pre-pandemic criteria. These changes will take effect on June 11, 2023. Current eligibility is updated above.


Signing Up/Sign-Up Assistance

Students can apply themselves, but we highly recommend using one of the following sign-up assistance programs where trained staff/volunteers can help guide you through the process.

SJSU Cares partners with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley in offering CalFresh assistance to students in Santa Clara & San Mateo County by phone: 1-800-984-3663 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm) or by requesting them to reach out to you.


Sign up for CalFresh Without Assistance

To see if you are eligible, go to the Get CalFresh website and click “Apply Now."

Farmer's Markets and CalFresh

Many farmers markets will double your money if you use CalFresh to purchase your fruits and vegetables!


CalFresh Reference Information