Frequently Asked Questions...

What is the difference between CalFresh, Food Stamps and SNAP?

The CalFresh Program and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for Food Stamps.  Both the CalFresh and SNAP names best highlight the purpose of the program; healthy and nutritional eating.  The Department of Agriculture and the State of California wanted to move away from the negative stigma of receiving Food Stamp benefits.

I am single with no children, do I qualify?

Single persons, families, seniors, children under 18 who are on their own, citizens, legal permanent residents, refugees/asylees, non-citizen veterans, and victims of trafficking are all eligible for SNAP based on household income.  Children are not the only reasons why people qualify

What is considered to be a ‘household’?

A household can be an individual living alone; a group of people (related or not) who purchase and prepare food together; separate families living under one roof can apply separately only if they purchase and prepare food separately or intend to purchase and prepare food separately. 

What do I have to do to apply for CalFresh?

Complete the pre-screening tool to see if you can apply.  If you do, you will need to submit proof of your information (identity, income, expenses, etc).  You will be contacted for an interview and will be notified within 30 days of your acceptance or denial.  (Emergency victims apply differently.)

Who does not qualify for CalFresh?

People who are undocumented, unborn children, people with certain drug felonies, and people who get social security insurance.

I do not speak English well, do you have a translator?

We cannot guarantee that translation services will be available at each site, but our partner ACCESS Center has resources for language services.  You may call them toll free at 866-262-9881 or email at

How will I know if I qualify for IRS VITA?

If your total household income is under $49,000 for the tax year, then you qualify.  If you are unsure, please contact us at 888-494-4508

Can I trust the volunteers who prepare my tax return?

Yes.  Each volunteer must sign an agreement stating that all information seen must remain confidential.  Each volunteer must also pass an IRS-Certified Test which shows their understanding of tax preparation and law. 

I am undocumented and scared that I will be reported if I bring in my tax information.

By law, the IRS cannot give Immigration Services any information regarding your citizenship.  Filing your taxes is documentation you have been in the United States and are behaving as a ‘law abiding citizen’ , if you chose to pursue becoming a legal resident.  We also have services to help assist you in receiving your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your return.

Who can I contact if I want to learn how to prepare taxes as a volunteer?

Please contact Teresa Smith at 888-494-4508 or email at

More FAQs:
Local CalFresh FAQs
Federal CalFresh FAQs
Food Stamp Resource Tool





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