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 CalFresh benefits solely due to their immigration status under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996.

Some examples of CFAP Eligible individuals are non-citizens who are: 

  • Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who have not met the five (5)year United States (U.S.)  residency requirement or 40 qualifying work quarters criteria; 
  • Parolees;
  • Conditional entrants; or 
  • Are battered or abused. 

Expansion of the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 

New CFAP Eligibility Requirements

Assembly Bill 135, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 Human Services Omnibus Trailer Bill, initiated an expansion of CFAP by allocating funds to begin the automation and implementation for CFAP eligibility to non-citizens who are excluded from CalFresh based solely on their immigration status.  In 2022, the Governor and the Legislature passed a budget that included funding to expand CFAP to all Californians, age 55 years or older, who are income-eligible, regardless of their immigration status (Assembly Bill 178, Budget Act of 2022).

Additionally, Senate Bill 187, (2022), does not require CFAP applicants to provide a social security number, if they do not have one, or comply with CalFresh work requirements once the expansion is implemented.

Important! This benefit is not available yet. To prepare for the implementation of this expansion, CDSS, County Welfare Departments (CWDs), County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA), California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS), and nutrition stakeholders are involved in an intensive implementation planning process, including policy, data security, automation, training, customer experience, and outreach plan development.  CDSS will post meetings, webinars, materials, and updates to this webpage in an effort of transparency,  providing the latest information on progress made toward implementation.

The CFAP expansion will be implemented on October 1, 2025.



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