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CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals, families, and seniors purchase food. The amount of benefits an individual or family receives is dependent on the family size, income, and monthly expenses such as housing, child care, and medical expenses. CalFresh can be used to buy most foods at markets and grocery stores. The benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol or tobacco products, though they can be used to buy seeds and plants to grow food. For more information, please visit the CalFresh program page.

Public Charge

The Federal Government has announced a new "public charge" rule changing the way that receiving certain public benefits affects immigrants' application for legal permanent residency (obtaining their "green card"). This rule could go into effect as soon as October 15, 2019. These changes do not affect who is eligible for public benefit programs that deliver support for health, nutrition, housing, employment, and child care. We want to help you continue to receive the assistance that you and your family are eligible to receive and need now. Not all immigrants who receive public benefits will be impacted by these changes. Local immigration attorneys and non-profit organizations may be able to provide help and legal advice.

Know your rights. Get the help you need.


**Expanding CalFresh Benefits to SSI Recipients

Beginning June 1, 2019, SSI Recipients may also receive CalFresh food benefits on an EBT card.

How to Apply

Apply Online

To submit an application online, visit the C4Yourself website.

 C4Yourself Logo.jpg


Apply by Mail or Fax

You may download an English or Spanish application from the California Department of Social Services website. You can also request an application by calling 559-675-2300. Once completed, the application can be mailed or faxed to:

Madera County Department of Social Services
PO BOX 569
Madera, CA 93639
Fax: 559-675-7690


Minimum Requirements to Apply

To be accepted, applications must contain each of these: your name, address, and signature.

For more information, please click the “How to Apply” Informational Flyer.

Expedited CalFresh

Expedited Services provide CalFresh benefits to potentially-eligible households (individuals, families, or groups of people that buy and prepare food together) by the 3rd calendar day following the application date. A weekend (Saturday and Sunday) is considered one calendar day. An applicant may be eligible if:

• The household has less than $150 in monthly income and less than $100 in liquid resources (cash, savings, or checking); or

• The household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources on hand (cash, savings, or checking) are less than your household’s combined monthly rent and utilities; or

• You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker and have less than $100 on hand.

Eligibility Overview and Maximum Monthly Benefits


Household Size

Maximum Monthly Benefits





















Each Additional Person

Add $144


Using CalFresh Benefits

CalFresh benefits are distributed via the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, also known as the Golden State Advantage Card. The EBT card is used like any other debit card with a four-digit PIN, and it offers you privacy when making purchases. CalFresh EBT cards can be used to purchase food at most Madera County grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Check out the EBTNearME website to search for locations that accept the CalFresh EBT card.

If your EBT Card is lost or stolen, please call (877)328-9677.

Beware of Scams!

Beware of Fake Smart Phone Apps and Internet scams. The State of California and Madera County will never ask you to provide private EBT-related information by phone, email, or text message. Protecting your information is one of Madera County Department of Social Services’ main priorities.

Here are a few ways to minimize the risk of compromising your identity:

• Know who you share your information with;

• Store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security Number;

• Ask questions before deciding to share your personal information; and

• Maintain appropriate security on your devices.

If you receive a request to provide information in this way, contact Madera County Department of Social Services immediately at (559)675-2300.

Beware of Fake Smart Phone Apps, Internet, email, and text-message scams. To find out more, visit the EBT Scams page on the California EBT Project website.

Nutrition Education is playful, engaging and easy to use. It includes:

• Recipes searchable by food type, so that you can find recipes using whatever ingredients you have.

• Recipes that can be cooked in crockpots and microwaves.

• Ask a dietician: Type in your questions and a dietician sends you the answer.

• Tips about nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

• Text, email, share and print recipes.

• Discussions online about nutrition or cooking.

• Post recipes on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Additional Resources

Madera Food Bank      Madera Food Bank Logo

The Madera County Food Bank plays a critical role in maintaining and improving the health and well-being of our community’s low income, and food insecure population. A number of food programs are offered to fight against food insecurity of Madera County.


Madera Rescue Mission             

Madera Rescue Mission LogoThe Madera Rescue Mission provides essential needs such as food, clothing and shelter. 




Central California Food Bank Central California Food Bank logo

The Central California Food Bank (CCFB) provides CalFresh reporting assistance as well as guidance with CalFresh applications. Call to schedule an appointment (559) 997-6869.

Reporting Fraud

Please help ensure the integrity of the CalFresh program. If you suspect fraud, please contact the Madera County Special Investigations Unit at (559) 661-5160.