Looking for help
Please scroll down for eligibility information and ways to apply.
To check your balance: 1-877-328-9677, www.freshebt.com.
Jump to our COVID-19 CalFresh page for more information on:
- Emergency benefit increases / emergency allotments for households not already receiving the maximum benefit
- Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for children (This is not technically CalFresh, but there is more info about P-EBT on our COVID-19 CalFresh page.)
- Updating income changes upon loss of unemployment benefits
- Purchasing food online or curbside, with EBT card, from specific retailers
- Temporary college student eligibility changes
Jump to our Disaster CalFresh page (related to wildfires & power outages) for more information on:
- Purchasing hot foods with CalFresh (this is a temporary waiver in effect until October 28, 2021!)
- Benefit replacements for approved zip codes
- State website for more information
Jump to our page about the new CalFresh customer portal (BenefitsCal) for more information on:
Accessing your online CalFresh account starting on Sept 27, 2021
Improvements to the new portal
Questions & Answers about the new portal
CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps people purchase food for good health. CalFresh dollars are automatically loaded monthly onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) debit card, which is used at stores and farmers' markets, just like any other bank debit card. CalFresh dollars can be spent on food, in addition to seeds and plants that produce food in a garden. As of June 2019, households receiving SSI income are now eligible to apply for CalFresh! Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about that change and/or apply. See below for more details on qualifications.
You may qualify for CalFresh if you can answer “yes” to these questions:
- Are you or at least one of your children a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident?
- Is your household’s GROSS monthly income (before taxes and deductions) within the limits in the chart below? (If a household member is 60 or older or permanently disabled, then the income can be higher.)
- Household size of 1 = $2,148
- Household size of 2 = $2,904
- Household size of 3 = $3,660
- Household size of 4 = $4,418
- Household size of 5 = $5,174
- Household size of 6 = $5,930
- Household size of 7 = $6,668
- Household size of 8 = $7,444
- Each additional household member= +$758
*These income guidelines are effective October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
**As of June 2019, individuals receiving SSI/SSP are now eligible to apply!
How much could I possibly receive in CalFresh benefits?
The maximum monthly benefit amounts depend on family size:
Ways to apply in Humboldt County
There are several different options available, to make it as easy as possible to apply.
Apply through Food for People:
Our CalFresh Outreach staff are here to help with the application process, the eligibility process after your application has been submitted to the County, and questions/tips on reporting and recertifying in order to continue receiving benefits. Once you are receiving CalFresh, it is important to take all the necessary steps to make sure benefits continue for as long as you need them, and our staff are experts in helping households with this process.
Call our CalFresh Outreach staff at (707) 499-6477 (text or call--this is a dedicated CalFresh Outreach mobile phone)
Email our CalFresh Outreach staff at CalFresh@foodforpeople.org
You can also call (707) 445-3166 extension 318 or 308. For Spanish language assistance, please use extension 318. (Please note that staff attend food bank activities all over the county and are not always at their desks, so the mobile phone number listed above in option #1 is best.)
Fill out our online call-back form, and our CalFresh Outreach staff will call or email you back.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safest way to apply for CalFresh is online, from any computer or smart phone at https://benefitscal.com. It takes only a few minutes to apply, and you can register to receive text updates throughout the application process. You can also upload or take photos of verification documents with this application, thus removing the need to make copies to be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered.
Apply directly with the County:
- To apply on your own, visit https://benefitscal.com (and feel free to call our staff to help you through the online application);
- Or call Humboldt County DHHS at 1-877-410-8809.
Additional County info:
- DHHS Social Services Branch offices:
- In Eureka: 929 Koster Street. 1-877-410-8809
- In Garberville: 727 Cedar Street (707) 923-2759
- In Hoopa: 1200 Airport Road (530) 625-4251
- Apply for CalFresh and other benefits directly at https://benefitscal.com.
- Additional community partners provide CalFresh application assistance across Humboldt County. View the map and list of sites by clicking here.
Grow a Garden & Shop at Local Farmers' Markets with CalFresh (& get free bonus dollars there!)
Jump to our CalFresh-Gardening-Farmers' Markets page at this link for more background on:
- Market Match (free bonus dollars at local farmers' markets)
- Buying into a farm CSA with CalFresh
- Learning how to grow a garden utilizing CalFresh benefits
- Our library of garden growing how-to cards, expaining how to grow many fruits and vegetables in a Humboldt County garden
SAR 7 (Semi-Annual Report) form
Most households are required to fill out a SAR 7 (Semi-Annual Report) form 6 months after receiving CalFresh benefits. Click here to download the SAR 7 form. See below for details, and call the DHHS call center (1-877-410-8809) if you're not sure about your reporting timeline, haven't received one in the mail, or have recently moved and not updated your mailing address with DHHS. You must submit your filled out and signed SAR 7 form to DHHS in order to keep receiving CalFresh benfits. Beginning on July 1, 2016, all CalFresh cases will have to complete a SAR 7.
- Households that have a one year certification period will need to submit a SAR 7 in the 6th month.
- Households that reside on a Native American reservation or where all members are elderly/disabled will still receive a two year certification period, but if they have earned income, the household will need to submit 3 SAR7’s, one at 6, 12 and 18 months. If there is no earned income they will only need to submit one SAR7 at 12 months.
Download this SAR 7 help document, with detailed instructional notes on how to fill out the SAR 7.
Recertification is similar to a renewal process and is needed in order to keep receiving CalFresh benefits (1 year for most households; 2 years for some seniors and people with disabilities). If you need a new Recertification Form, download it here and submit to the County in order to keep receiving CalFresh benfits.
Public Charge Information for People who are Non-Citizens
STATUS UPDATE -- March 9, 2021:
Public charge is part of federal immigration law, to identify who might depend on the government as their main source of support in the future. If someone is considered a public charge, then the government can deny that person's application for admission into the U.S. or an application for lawful permanent resident status (LPR or "green card").
Though there had recently been a short period of time when the definition expanded, please note that the definition has returned back to what was outlined going back to 1999.
As of March 9, 2021, public charge applies only to people who receive public cash assistance for income maintenance and/or who are instiutionalized for long-term care at government expense.
There are many programs that are safe, and the list is long. It is safe to access food assistance programs such as CalFresh/SNAP, WIC, school meal programs, and food banks!
Read our full article at this link for more background on this topic, who it applies to, what programs are safe, and additional resource links.
Replacement Benefits Due to Power Outages
CalFresh households that lost food purchased with CalFresh, due to the power shutoffs, are eligible for replacement benefits.
There was a mass replacement of CalFresh benefits for some (but not all) Humboldt County households on Wednesday night Oct 23, 2019, due to the October 8, 2019 power shutoff. Many CalFresh households lost food purchased with CalFresh due to the October 26, 2019 power shutoff too.
Read our full article at this link for more information on the following:
- Who was included in the Oct 23, 2019 mass benefit replacement and who was not
- What to do if you were not included in it
- What to do if you lost more than 60% of food purchased with October CalFresh benefits
- Download and complete the CF303 replacement form --check the due dates for each separate power shutoff at the link!
- What happens when there are multiple replacements needed in one month due to multiple power shutoffs
Disaster CalFresh (or Disaster SNAP / D-SNAP) provides temporary food assistance for households affected by a natural disaster. It provides one month of benefits to eligible disaster survivors and can facilitate the issuance of supplemental benefits for ongoing households. People who are not usually eligible for CalFresh can qualify for Disaster CalFresh if they meet the criteria below. The State and affected counties work together to apply to the USDA for Disaster CalFresh. Once approved, there is a 7 day application window. In order to get Disaster CalFresh, people must apply for it within that 7 day window.
Read our full article at this link for more background on this topic, who qualifies, how to apply, how to assist with outreach, and many additional resource links.
More about our CalFresh Outreach program
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.
Please click here to learn more about our CalFresh Outreach program at Food for People
Humboldt Community Resource Information
Our partners at Humboldt County Dept. of Health & Human Services and St. Joseph Health coordinate to update and provide a comprehensive list of many different types of resources available in Humboldt County. Click here to view/download/print the resource list. And as an additional tool, the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers put all of this information into an online resource search engine. Click here to use the resource list search engine. (Updated Oct 2018)
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of AgricultureOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights1400 Independence Avenue, SWWashington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.