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Explore: Sonoma County

"Leading the fight against hunger"

Sonoma County CalFresh

Frequently Asked Questions

How does CalFresh work?

Q. How do I use CalFresh to buy food?

A. CalFresh benefits are put into an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) account for you each month. You will receive an EBT card to use like a debit or credit card at the grocery store.

Q. What foods can I purchase with your CalFresh benefits?

A. CalFresh can be used to buy any food or food product that is produced for human consumption except hot foods or lunch counter items prepared or heated in the store; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; vitamins or medicines; or pet food. Seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food can also be purchased with CalFresh. CalFresh cannot be used to buy nonfood items, such as household supplies or paper goods. You cannot get cash back with your EBT card.

Q. What is the average CalFresh benefit?

The average amount of CalFresh per household is about $200 a month. You may use the benefits calculator to get an idea of what benefits you may receive, however, to find out for sure what your benefits would be, you must apply.

Q. How long does it take to get CalFresh benefits?

A. Once you have been approved, your CalFresh benefits should be in your EBT card account within 30 days, however, we strive to get your benefits much quicker. In certain cases you may be eligible for expedited CalFresh benefits. If you qualify, these will be loaded into your account in less than a week.

Q. Do I have to work for my CalFresh?

A. If you have no children at home, and are between the age of 18 and 40, you may have to work for your CalFresh. Your eligibility worker will explain those requirements to you.