College Students Have A Few More Weeks To Sign Up For Food Stamps Before Tighter Restrictions Begin

Back when the Covid-19 pandemic was the talk of the town, the State of California expanded eligibility  for food stamps to ease the crush of government lockdowns that forced businesses to close and sent tens of thousands of people to the unemployment line.

Struggling college students became eligible to sign up for food assistance through the CalFresh program.

But the federal Covid-19 public health emergency is expiring on May 11th, 2023 and the expanded eligibility for CalFresh is expiring in June 2023.

So, the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services is encouraging college students to apply now for CalFresh and see if they are eligible.

40% of college students in California are eligible for the CalFresh  program.

Currently, there are more than  7-thousand  college students in Riverside County collecting CalFresh benefits. 

A student can receive up to $281 in food stamps each month, which the County says is enough to buy  60 jars of peanut butter. Obviously there are healthier food options than 60 jars of peanut butter.

County officials say students currently participating in the CalFresh program remain eligible under the existing expanded eligibility until their next recertification, which happens on a yearly basis.

After June 10th 2023  students who wish to enroll in CalFresh for the first time will need to meet one of the permanent student exemptions to be eligible. Examples of these include students who receive cash aid or CalWORKs, work 20 hours a week, single parents with children under 12, and those who are 17 or younger or 50 and over. 

Riverside County residents can apply for CalFresh online at, by calling 1-877-410-8827 or by visiting the nearest DPSS office.


Client speaking with worker from the CalFresh program through Riverside County Dept of Public Social Services.

Photo from Riverside County CA Dept of Public Social Services.