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Explore: Sonoma County

"Leading the fight against hunger"

Sonoma County CalFresh

What's New

Benefits CalWIN(BCW)

Check out Benefits CalWIN(BCW)! BCW will allow you to apply for Medi-Cal and/or CalFresh (formerly called the Food Stamps Program) online and from the privacy of your own home. BCW is available 24/7, so you can apply when you want to!

The California CalFresh Program has a New Name

The California CalFresh Program, which the USDA (and some other states) calls SNAP, has a new name. It is now called CalFresh. Although many people know it by "CalFresh", the benefits haven't been distributed as "stamps" for years—these benefits help low-income people buy the food needed for good health by way of a debit card that can only be used to buy food items. The purpose of CalFresh is to provide food assistance to end hunger, improve nutrition, and increase health, and the new name is meant to reflect the fact that these benefits are a resource to help low-income families and individuals put healthy meals on their table.

Using CalFresh at Farmers Markets and CSA Farms in Sonoma County

Many Sonoma County Farmers Markets (Link) are now accepting CalFresh EBT to purchase fresh local fruits, vegetables and other food items. CalFresh recipients can swipe their EBT card at the Market Managers table and get tokens/coupons for the purchase of fruits and vegetables from participating market vendors. Be sure to stop at the Market Managers Table first to inquire about using your EBT card and for other benefits or specials they may offer. Some markets have the opportunity to double dollars at certain times and days. Be sure to inquire about these programs at the Market Managers Table.

In addition to using your EBT at farmers markets, some Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms offer a monthly farm share subscription that can be purchased using your CalFresh EBT card (link). Community Supported Agriculture is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in their community. Local consumers buy a share into the farm and in exchange, each week during the growing season, they will receive a box of local, fresh, and seasonal produce directly from the farm.

CalFresh for Seniors

According to the USDA, more than three quarters of a million Americans over 65 and living alone do not have a steady supply of food.

Hunger can be life-threatening for seniors, putting them at risk for serious health problems. It can increase their risk for stroke, prolonging recovery from illness, extending hospital stays, limiting the effects of their prescription drugs, decreasing their resistance to infection, and may even increase feelings of depression and isolation.

But only a small proportion of low-income elderly people participate in the CalFresh Program. One reason may be that there are common misconceptions about CalFresh for seniors.