California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

What is CFAP?

The State of California provides state-funded CalFresh food benefits through the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for qualified non-citizens who do not qualify for federal benefits. CFAP benefits are issued through the same case as federal CalFresh benefits.

Current CFAP Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to CFAP, non-citizens must currently be ineligible for federal food stamp benefits solely due to his/her immigration status under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996.

Non-citizens who are eligible to CFAP benefits indefinitely are non-citizens who:

  • Have been legally residing in the United States as a LPR non-citizen prior to August 22, 1996; or
  • Are battered or abused or
  • Are qualified non-citizens who are no longer federally eligible under the seven-year time limited federal eligibility (all except Amerasians or conditional entrants);
  • Are otherwise eligible for the program but were sponsored into the United States on or after August 22, 1996 and one of the following verified situations apply:
    • The sponsor has died; or
    • The sponsor is disabled; or
    • The applicant, after entry into the United States is a victim of abuse by the sponsor or the spouse of the sponsor if the spouse is living with the sponsor

Great News! Soon all California immigrants age 55 years or older will be able to get CFAP food benefits regardless of immigration status.

New CFAP Eligibility Requirements

Assembly Bill 135, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 Human Services Omnibus Trailer Bill, expands CFAP eligibility to immigrants age 55 years or older who are ineligible for CalFresh based on their immigration status.

Additionally, Senate Bill 187, (2021-2022), does not require CFAP applicants to provide a social security number if they do not have one and it also eliminates the work requirement for CFAP participants when the CFAP expansion is implemented.

Important! This benefit is not available yet, but the CDSS, counties, and stakeholders will be involved in an intensive implementation planning process, including policy, customer experience, and outreach plan development.  CDSS will post implementation related meetings, webinars, and materials, as well as regular implementation updates, to this webpage in an effort to provide all interested partners with the latest information on progress made toward implementation.

An implementation date has not been established yet.  This webpage will be updated once an implementation date for the CFAP expansion has been confirmed.

Implementation Updates and Materials


  • More information coming soon!

CFAP Expansion Advisory Workgroups

All Stakeholder Workgroup

The next All Stakeholder Meeting is scheduled for 02/22/2023 from 10:00 -11:00 am, registration link is coming soon! 

Participant Experience Workgroup

  • More information coming soon!

Outreach Workgroup

  • More information coming soon!

Data Technical Workgroup

  • More information coming soon!