Big News in Hunger for Seniors and Adults With Disabilities!

April 30, 2019

For the first time since 1974, SSI recipients in California will be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. That’s 40,000 people in San Francisco and 3,000 neighbors in Marin – seniors and people with disabilities – who will be newly eligible for food stamp benefits.

With CalFresh benefits for a one-person household averaging $130 a month, this change can make a huge difference for someone in need. And, participating in CalFresh will not reduce SSI benefit amounts in any way.

Boosting food access and the local economy

Even conservative estimates suggest that connecting SSI recipients with CalFresh will result in many millions of dollars a year for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to spend on groceries. This won’t just improve the lives of SSI recipients, but the local economy gets a boost too. Every $1 spent in CalFresh benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity!

It took years of dedicated advocacy efforts by our Food Bank and our partners to achieve this historic change, which will improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our donors and coalition partners. Thank you!

In the coming weeks and months, the Food Bank’s Policy & Advocacy team and CalFresh Outreach team will work closely with the state, our counties, and other local partners to share this exciting news and assist hundreds of neighbors with CalFresh enrollment.

Learn More

  • This fact sheet from Californians for SSI provides a simple summary of the changes to CalFresh eligibility for SSI recipients.
  • Find information about state planning work here.

Take Action!

Are you an SSI recipient interested in applying for CalFresh benefits?

  • CLICK: Apply online:
  • CALL: Call our hotline to get application assistance in English, Spanish, or Chinese: 415-549-7021
  • COME IN: Walk into a county office to apply in person: Locations are listed on the Human Services Agency website

Are you a community-based organization interested in helping your clients enroll? 

  1. The Food Bank is looking to expand our CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance network to include more partners who work closely with SSI recipients. To learn more, contact Ada Lai at 415-282-1907 x258 or, Marin organizations contact Alexandra Danino at x014 or
  2. The San Francisco Human Services Agency is hosting two community forums to provide training for CBOs. Reach out to with questions.
    • Forum 1: HSA in partnership with San Francisco-Marin Food Bank
      • Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | 10:30am – 12:00pm
      • SF Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Latino Room A/B, San Francisco, CA 94102
    • Forum 2: HSA in partnership with Department of Aging and Adult Services and the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank
      • Thursday, May 23, 2019 | 2:00 – 3:30pm
      • Lighthouse for the Blind, 1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
  1. Download informational flyers to hand out and post at your organization:

Want to get engaged with Food Bank’s Advocacy efforts like this?

Check out this video of our listening session with SSI recipients on how hard it is to make ends meet on SSI:

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