Basic Needs



Section 1

CalFresh Eligibility

There are many ways UCI students may be eligible for CalFresh!
Please see below for specific instructions on how to apply for CalFresh for your eligibility.

If you have any questions, please contact our FRESH team at


You MUST meet all of the requirements below, as specified!

Eligibility Part I

You MUST meet ALL of the requirements below:

  • Students MUST be U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), or have someone in their household who is able to apply for CalFresh.
  • Students MUST be currently enrolled students at UC Irvine AND enrolled in at least 6 units (We cannot help incoming students or those on leaves of absence)
  • Household's monthly income before taxes must not exceed the allowed amount.

Eligibility Part II

You MUST meet ONE of the student eligibilities below.

Note: Not eligible? Students who are not eligible for CalFresh can apply for FRESH's Emergency Meal Swipes!



CalGrant A/B Students.

Cal Grant A/B TANF-Funded

Required Documents:
  • You will need this CalGrant TANF email, which verifies that you have a CalGrant funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It would've been sent by:
  • This email would've been sent to the email address you used to apply for the FAFSA - for most students.
  • Below is an example of the email:

  • If you can't find this email, it may mean you don't have a TANF-funded CalGrant, and you'll need to find another eligibility to qualify for CalFresh.
  • TANF emails are typically sent in late September - mid-October of the academic year.
  • If you're unsure whether you have a TANF email, you can email us at
Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study

  • Students qualify for CalFresh if they've been offered and accepted Federal Work-Study (not President's Work-Study).
  • You don't need to have a work-study job to be eligible.
Zero Expected Family Contributions (EFC)

Zero Expected Family Contributions (EFC)


  • Students qualify for CalFresh if they have a Zero EFC (Expected Family Contribution) on their Financial Aid Award or their FAFSA Student Aid Report.
Campus Employment

Campus Employment Program

Students employed by the University of California, Irvine -- are considered to be participating in the Campus Employment Program.

Required Documents:
Students will need to submit their Employment Verification Form. The Employment Verification Form can be obtained from UC Path, by logging in and going to the Income & Taxes tab. After selecting Income & Taxes, student will need to click on Verification of Employment and will then be able to Generate Summary Report and download their form.

Employed 20 Hours/Week.

Employed 20 Hours/Week or 80 Hours/Month

  • Students qualify for CalFresh if they work at least 20 hours a week or 80 hours a month.
  • Make sure income is below the income limit for your household.
  • Paystubs will need to show work of 20 hours or more every week.  
Student Success Initiatives (SSI)

Student Success Initiatives (SSI)

Required Documents:
  • Students part of Student Success Initiatives (SSI) can email their assigned counselors to request their verification form.
  • If you are a Summer Bridge Scholar, contact Kathy Dong, Summer Bridge & Step Program Counselor/Coordinator,
  • If you are a TRIO Scholar, contact Isha Bhatt, TRIO Counselor/Coordinator,
  • If you are a FYRE Scholar, contact Janet Perez-Molina, Counselor/Program Coordinator - Foster Youth Resilience in Education (FYRE) & Student Parent and Families (SPF)
Parenting Students

Parenting Students


  • Students qualify for CalFresh if they are a:
    • Full-time student responsible for a child under 12
    • Part-time student responsible for a child under age 6
    • Part-time student responsible for a child between ages 6 and 11 without Adequate Child Care
  • If you yourself are not a US Citizen or Legal Permanent resident, but your child is, you can still apply for benefits for them!
  • Make sure you meet the prorated income limit for your household.
  • Social Services will only take into account the income proportional to the number of eligible members in the household.
  • Example: Both parents are not eligible, but 1 child is a citizen, so only 33% of total income is counted and held to the income guideline of a 1 person household. 
Research and Teaching Assistants

Research and Teaching Assistants


Students hired for a research or teaching assistant position, whether paid or unpaid, or part of a training program, are considered to be participating in a Research and Teaching Assistantship Program.

Please submit proof of employment as a research/teaching assistant.

Section 3

Additional Approved Academic and Professional Programs

If you would like to see if your academic program has been approved as student eligibility, visit Eligible Student Programs for CalFresh

  • These academic and professional programs at UCI have been approved as a student eligibility.
  • This list includes undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and more.
  • Please check the notes to see if your program requires additional verification forms and how to request them.

If your program is on the Student Programs List, please download the list as a pdf and upload with your application.


Individual/household must have a gross income that does not exceed the limit for the total number of applicants. Please refer to the chart below for household sizes. Each additional household member brings the monthly gross income limit up to $748. Income Guidelines Chart 

Calfresh Income Guidelines

Effective Oct. 1st, 2022

Household SizeMaximum Gross Monthly IncomeMaximum Calfresh Allotment
1 $2,266 $281
2 $3,052 $516
3 $3,840 $740
4 $4,626 $939
5 $5,412 $1,116
6 $6,200 $1,1,339
7 $6,986 $1,480
8 $7,772 $1,691
+ (1) Household Member + $788 + $211
Monthly Minimum Allotment: $23


Mixed-status families can still apply for CalFresh if they have eligible members in their households! The California Department of Social Services is not allowed to share immigration information with federal agencies and the information is kept strictly confidential.

For example, undocumented parents can apply for benefits for their citizen children.

Cartoon of mixed-status family

Take into consideration!

  • Students who have a meal plan must have a meal plan of 120 or less
  • Students cannot apply for CalFresh if they have an active case in another county
  • Students who have Medi-Cal in another county usually can't have Medi-Cal in one county and CalFresh in another. Students who apply to CalFresh and are approved will have their Medi-Cal automatically transferred to the county they applied for CalFresh in.
    • To continue to receive Medi-Cal benefits in their county of origins, students must call their Medi-Cal caseworker and ask them to stop the inter-county transfer of their Medi-Cal case.
  • Students can contact the county to check on the status of their CalFresh case at 1-800-281-9799.

Are you eligible? Apply for CalFresh!

Book an appointment Watch a webinar Apply on your own

Not eligible? There are other resources!