• CalFresh
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    The CalFresh Program, federally known as the Supplemental
    Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to your food
    budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. The
    program issues monthly electronic benefits that can be used
    to buy most foods at many markets and food stores.
  • WIC
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    Provides nutrition education and food vouchers for pregnant
    women, new mothers, infants and children younger than age five
    who cannont afford an edequate diet and, in the case of infants
    older than six weeks of age.
  • Food Pantries
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    Programs that provide an ongoing supply of groceries, usually once a month, for
    people whose income is not sufficient to meet their needs. Included are programs that
    provide enough food for an entire balanced meal or series of meals and those that provide
    a supplemental supply of groceries. Some programs deliver food to people whose disabilities
    or illnesses make it difficult for them to leave home.
  • Farmers Markets
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    Enables farmers to gather in empty parking areas or similar spaces and sell freshly
    picked produce directly to consumers at lower than retail but higher than wholesale
    prices. EBT program is similar to a bank debit card that provides a way for you
    to spend your food and/or cash benefits.

The featured resources above provide emergency food assistance programs for eligible active duty military, veterans, and their families. Included are programs that offer commodity emergency food, assistance with CalFresh and WIC applications. For related emergency food services, please click on the links below.

Related Resources

CalFresh ApplicationsCounty or state offices that accept Food Stamp applications, determine eligibility for the Food Stamp program and allotments, and issue Food Stamp EBT cards which are presented at the grocery checkout counter when purchasing food. Certified households receive their EBT card and instructions for setting up a PIN number within 30 days of the date their application was filed. Expedited food stamps are available within seven days for people who are in an emergency situation and whose income and spendable resources for that month are within specified limits. Also included are other programs that help people prepare and file Food Stamp/SNAP applications and/or are authorized to do eligibility determinations for the program.

Food Cooperatives - Programs that allow groups of consumers to pool their grocery orders and purchase food in bulk directly from wholesalers at lower than retail prices. Also included are programs that allow people to volunteer a few hours of community service in exchange for discounts on groceries through designated food outlets, and programs that distribute supplemental food to people who meet income guidelines and pay an annual membership fee. Some programs may accept food stamps.

Occasional Emergency Food Assistance - Food pantries that provide a box or bag of groceries on a one-time only or other limited basis for people who are unable to provide food for themselves or their families. Included are programs that provide enough food for an entire balanced meal or series of meals and those that provide a supplemental supply of groceries. Some programs deliver food to people whose disabilities or illnesses make it difficult for them to leave home.

Ongoing Emergency Food Assistance - Programs that provide an ongoing supply of groceries, usually once a month, for people whose income is not sufficient to meet their needs. Included are programs that provide enough food for an entire balanced meal or series of meals and those that provide a supplemental supply of groceries. Some programs deliver food to people whose disabilities or illnesses make it difficult for them to leave home.

Home Delivered Meals - Programs that prepare and deliver regular meals to older adults and people with disabilities who are unable to shop and/or prepare the food for themselves or travel to a site where a meal is being served.

Hot Meals/Soup Kitchens - Programs offered by churches, restaurants and other organizations that provide meals in a central location for people who lack the resources needed to buy and prepare food. The food may be distributed to people who line up for the meal or may be served to people seated in a dining hall setting, and participants rarely need to establish eligibility for the service.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program - A federally funded program that works to improve the health of low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, other new mothers up to one year postpartum, infants, children up to age six and elderly people age 60 and older who meet income eligibility requirements by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. The program provides food and administrative funds to states to supplement the diets of these groups. Individuals cannot simultaneously benefit from the WIC program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Women Infant and Children (WIC) - A federally-funded program that provides nutrition education and food vouchers for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children younger than age five who cannot afford an adequate diet and, in the case of infants older than six weeks of age, who have a condition which shows a need for better nutrition. Vouchers are picked up at a WIC site (which are usually located in an health center that provides maternity and/or pediatric care) on a monthly basis and may be exchanged for milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, juice, vegetables, peanut butter, beans and formula in most grocery stores. In some states, WIC benefits are made available through electronic transfer benefit (EBT) cards.