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Disaster/Wildfire Updates

  • Effective immediately until September 23, 2020, Calfresh households may use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase hot food at SNAP (CalFresh) authorized retailers.

COVID-19 Updates

Office Lobby Closures

  • Currently, all Alameda County Social Services Agency office lobbies are temporarily closed and will offer limited in-person services. If you are applying for assistance, submitting verifications, reporting a loss of income, or have questions, we encourage you to use options found HERE.
  • To find a list of applications by program, click here: Application Forms With Links

SAR 7 and Redetermination Waiver

  • Individuals should resume submitting SAR 7s and recertifications/renewals beginning June 2020.
  • SAR 7s and redeterminations have been waived for March, April, and May 2020 and do not need to be submitted. CalWORKs households still need to comply with other mandatory reporting requirements.
  • If your CalWORKs redetermination wass originally due:
    • March 2020, it will now be due September 2020
    • April 2020, it will now be due October 2020
    • May 2020, it will now be due November 2020.

CalFresh Emergency Supplement Allotment

  • California has been approved to provide emergency allotments to eligible households for the following months: March, April, May, June, July, August,September, and October 2020 . Emergency allotments will raise each household's regular monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable allotment based on household size. Households already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size will not receive any additional supplement.
  • Please refer to the chart below for the issuance date for the March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October 2020 emergency allotments.
CalFresh Emergency Allotment Month Issuance Date
March 2020 April 12, 2020
April 2020 May 10, 2020
May 2020 June 14, 2020
June 2020 July 12, 2020
August 2020 September 13, 2020
September 2020 October 18, 2020
October 2020 November 15, 2020

  • CalFresh households that are already receiving the maximum benefit for their household size will not receive an additional supplement allotment.

ABAWD Work Requirement & Time Limit

  • Effective April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act suspended the work requirement for all Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs).

For more information and resources, including ways to report a loss of income, click here.

CalFresh is the new name for California's Food Stamp Program. CalFresh is a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that provides assistance for households to purchase nutritious food. The program uses an easy credit card format called Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) to purchase food at retail stores and farmers markets.

Effective September 1st, 2019, some CalFresh recipients in Alameda County are now required to meet federal work requirements. The rules apply to anyone receiving CalFresh between the ages of 19-49 that does not have a child living in the home. LEARN MORE HERE.

Who May Be Eligible

All CalFresh applications and recertifications must be processed as soon as possible. CalFresh applications must be processed no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date the application is received by the County. The County must notify the applicant in writing, if the case is approved or denied, no later than 30 calendar days from the date the County receives the CalFresh application. If you qualify based on an emergency situation, you may be eligible to receive CalFresh Expedited Service benefits within three (3) calendar days from the date the application is received by the County. If you are having problems with your CalFresh application, please email

  • All US citizens
  • Most immigrants - Legal Permanent Residents

What Verification Is Needed

  • Identification (does not need to be a picture ID)
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of any income
  • Proof of expenses - rent receipt, utility bills, childcare receipts, medical receipts

How Much Income Can I Have

  • Income depends on the number of people in your household
Household size Maximum Gross Income Maximum benefit amount
1 $2,128 $204
2 $2,874 $374
3 $3,620 $535
4 $4,368 $680
5 $5,114 $807
6 $5,860 $969
7 $6,608 $1,071
8 $7,354* $1,224**

* + $748 Each Additional Member
** + $153 Each Additional Member

Restaurant Meals Program

The Restaurant Meals Program allows homeless, elderly (age 60 or over), and disabled CalFresh households to use CalFresh benefits to purchase prepared meals at participating restaurants. Local restaurants participating in the service will display a sign on their door or window indicating they are an Alameda County CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program location. A list of currently participating restaurants is also available here.

Are you a restaurant owner interested in joining the Alameda County Social Services Agency in helping homeless, elderly, and disabled customers obtain prepared meals using their CalFresh benefits on their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card? Click HERE for more information, and email

See the Restaurant Meals Program Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.

How to Apply

There are several options available. You can request an application be mailed to you, apply online or simply pick one up at any of our public contact offices.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is CalFresh?

CalFresh are America's primary form of nutrition assistance. To alleviate the stigma associated with coupons, CalFresh benefits are provided via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which works just like a normal debit card.

2. Do I have to be on Public Assistance to be eligible to receive CalFresh?

No. Many recipients of CalFresh are employed, elderly or disabled who need assistance purchasing nutritional food.

3. How long does it take to receive CalFresh benefits?

If you qualify for CalFresh, you will receive benefits no later than 30 days from the date the office received your application. If you have very little or no income and less than $100 in cash, you may be eligible to receive CalFresh within 3 days.

4. What is the average benefit amount from CalFresh?

The average monthly benefit is about $149.79 per person and almost $295 per household.

5. What foods are eligible for purchase with CalFresh?

Households can use CalFresh to buy any food or food product for human consumption as well as seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food. Households cannot buy:

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Lunch counter items or food to be eaten in the store
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Pet food
  • Any non-food items such as soaps, paper products, and household supplies.

6. I am a single adult without dependents; can I apply for CalFresh benefits?


7. What if I have a bank account?

Liquid resources such as cash, checking and savings accounts are not counted in the CalFresh Program.

8. What if I'm disabled, and am unable to cook for myself?

Disabled and elderly individuals may have others assist them with cooking when needed.

Also, disabled, elderly and homeless individuals can buy prepared meals under the Restaurant Meals Program. See the information above about this service.

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