You have your financial aid for the semester, you’ve purchased your books, and classes have begun…now it’s time to get your food aid! Did you know you might be eligible for up to $192 each month for groceries?
CalFresh, also known as SNAP, helps stretch tight food budgets to allow you to incorporate healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables into your diet. The Student Cupboard, a free food and hygiene pantry on campus, located in Industrial Technology room 144, helps prescreen students for eligibility and assists with the application process.
During the prescreen process, you will be asked about who you purchase and prepare food for, in order to determine your household size. If your household size fits into the income guidelines, as a college student between the ages of 18-49, you have one more additional college student exemption. Common college student exemptions include:
• Working and getting paid for at least 20 hours a week
• Approved for federal work study (even if you don’t have a work study job)
• Receiving Cal Grant A or B (25 years old or younger, unmarried, and household income of less than $50,000)
• Enrolled in Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) or Renaissance Scholars Program (RSP)
• Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under 6 years old, or between 6-12 years old, with no adequate childcare
Keep in mind, if you are living at home with your parents, you will need to be 22 years old or older in order to apply by yourself. Otherwise, you should apply with your family.
The application takes 10-15 minutes to complete and most eligible students receive their benefits from the county within 7-10 business days. Even with a minimum award of $15 each month, can you imagine how many extra items you could add to your refrigerator or pantry with that?
Once you’ve received your CalFresh benefits, use them at your local grocery stores that accept CalFresh EBT to purchase fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and more. Farmers Markets that accept CalFresh EBT may also participate in a market match program, which gives you DOUBLE your CalFresh dollars to use for more healthy fruits and vegetables.
The Food Security Project will be introducing a new workshop series called “How to Adult: Learning Beyond the Classroom,” which will include tips on budgeting, transportation options, as well as free cooking classes. For more information, visit www.fresnostate.edu/foodsecurity.
Visit our upcoming CalFresh Clinic dates on Sept. 27 and Nov. 14 to apply for CalFresh and learn more about valuable resources on campus.
Healthy Bulldogs is written by the staff of the Student Health and Counseling Center to encourage Fresno State students to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.