CalFresh for Students


CalFresh Workgroup Report
Access to Proper Nutrition Equals College Success: Making CalFresh Work for Students

CalFresh Banner

A third of postsecondary students in California experience food insecurity. Yet only a fraction of eligible students receive CalFresh, a federally funded benefit to help provide financial support so recipients can access nutritious meals. In Fall 2020, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) convened a statewide workgroup to understand how students the benefits system and process, as well as identify recommendations to help promote student participation in the CalFresh program. CSAC has issued a report to summarize key findings from the workgroup process offer policymakers and education leaders a variety of recommendations for making CalFresh benefits more accessible for postsecondary students.

Key Barriers to access CalFresh  

CalFresh Report Table

CalFresh helps to combat hunger in California by providing low-income families benefits that can be used to access fresh and nutritional food. While this benefit is also available for college students, the lack of outreach to inform students of the CalFresh program and the utilization of outdated communication tools leave most of our students stranded. Coupled with the complex processes of applying and recertifying for the program, this creates systemic barriers that leads to CalFresh benefits being difficult to access for students. This report lays out comprehensive policy recommendations at the federal, state, and county level that can help simplify and streamline the application process for our students. Read the full report, Access to Proper Nutrition Equals College Success: Making CalFresh Work for Students

To learn more, the Commission hosted a webinar on why a CalFresh workgroup and report was needed, review of the data and findings, and most importantly, the report recommendations. Our speakers included:

  • U.S. Jimmy Gomez, (CA-34), author of the EATS Act that removes barriers keeping students out of CalFresh

  • Jasmine Prasad, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges & Folsom Lake College student

  • Nolan Sullivan, Interim Director for the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency

  • Ruben Canedo, Director of Strategic Equity Initiatives at the University of California, Berkeley

  • Jake Brymner, Director of Government & External Relations at the Student Aid Commission

Read what others are saying about this report!

Click here to read what higher education experts, food access advocates, and elected leaders are saying about this report