College Students Can Benefit from Pandemic CalFresh Rules


Published on Jan 22, 2021

We have good news to share for college students who need help meeting their basic needs. Congress recently passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the state has issued new guidance that will make it easier for college students to sign up for CalFresh.

How Do Pandemic CalFresh Rules for College Students Work?

Now college students who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria only need to be eligible for work study to qualify for CalFresh. Before this new temporary rule, college students attending at least half time had to verify that they were anticipating or participating in work study. 

The temporary emergency rules also expand eligibility to students who are determined by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to have a zero dollar Expected Family Contribution for the current school year. 

These changes will allow many more college students to access CalFresh while campuses are closed to in-person instruction. The new rules are scheduled to remain in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted at the federal level. During this period, existing CalFresh households may also add a new member to the household if the individual, if not for this temporary change, would have been previously excluded due to the student eligibility rule.

Read the CDSS All County Letter implementing the new temporary rules here.

What’s next?

Nourish California and our partners will continue to advocate that college students shouldn’t be subject to arbitrary and outdated rules to have access to vital food assistance. You can stay involved and receive timely updates by signing up at our Action Center and by following us at @Nourish_CA.


Contact Jared Call at.


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