About CalFresh Outreach

Our CalFresh Outreach program:

  • Advocates for the elimination of bureaucratic barriers to CalFresh (formerly the Food Stamp Program) for low-income seniors, other adults, and children,
  • Provides training to community organizations and service providers about CalFresh and how to encourage people to apply,
  • Coordinates the Humboldt County CalFresh Task Force, attended by the Humboldt County Department of Human Services and a variety of local organizations serving the low-income community that work on CalFresh Outreach throughout Humboldt County
  • Provides direct education and assistance with the CalFresh application process for food bank program participants and anyone in our community.

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps households and families buy the food they need for good health. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help people to afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets.

Benefits are provided on an EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer) that is used just like a bank debit card and is accepted at most grocery stores and local farmers’ markets. At farmers’ markets, simply find the market manager’s booth, and swipe your EBT card for any amount in exchange for farmers’ market dollar tokens good for buying directly from local farmers at the market. CalFresh can be used to purchase food and plant starts or seeds that produce food. That means you can grow your garden with CalFresh, and get your hands on the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables all season long!

CalFresh at Farmers' Markets and Farms

Market Match: As an extra benefit, the Market Match program at local farmers’ markets gives bonus farmers' market dollars for FREE to shoppers utilizing a CalFresh EBT card. Market Match is available at farmers’ markets in Arcata, Eureka, McKinleyville, Willow Creek, Fortuna, Garberville, Miranda, and Shelter Cove. Read more about Market Match at this link for more background, how and where it works, the farmers' market schedule, and additional resource links.

CSA's: Four Humboldt County farms accept EBT/CalFresh at their farms! CalFresh can be used at their farm stands to buy fresh produce and for purchasing a CSA share. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farm and a community of supporters, who commit to a farm for a whole growing season by purchasing a CSA share. The farmers then provide each member with a weekly distribution of fresh, seasonal produce at the peak of ripeness and nutrition. In a typical CSA arrangement, customers pay upfront for the entire season. CalFresh recipients can use their benefits to participate in a CSA, but can only pay for up to two weeks of food in advance. Click here for more information on which Humboldt County farms participate.

Did you know?

Many of the eligibility rules have changed over the years, making it easier to access CalFresh. It is possible to do the entire application and eligibility process from home. Fingerprints are no longer required, and eligibility interviews can be done over the phone instead of at the county office. You can own your home and vehicles, and have money in the bank, retirement, pension, etc. and still qualify for CalFresh. We see the benefits of these improvements to access every day, as people lose their jobs and are in need of immediate food assistance. In addition, it helps households hang on to the cushion they need in the bank to make it through the near future, college, or retirement.

Feel free to contact us at Food for People to ask questions about CalFresh. Call (707) 445-3166 extension 308 or 318 or email CalFresh@foodforpeople.org.

CalFresh Task Force

Food for People coordinates the Humboldt County CalFresh Task Force, which brings together County agencies and community partners who stay current on local CalFresh information and processes, share information and support each other's work. We encourage community partners to visit the Humboldt County CalFresh Task Force webpage to learn about the CalFresh outreach innovations employed by partners in Humboldt County and view or download materials they have made available to share.