Food Assistance

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Cal Fresh | (SNAP)

California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a debit card for use at grocery stores, farmers markets, and some online stores and restaurants.

Apply online in 10 minutes to get up to $194 a month per household member on an EBT card. Your county will call you for an eligibility interview within a week. If you’re approved, you’ll receive an EBT card with money for groceries within 30 days.

You can qualify for 3 day Expedited Service if: your household makes less than $150 in monthly income and has less than $100 on hand right now; or your household’s combined monthly income and money on hand 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 right now.

In recent months, California has provided an Emergency Allotment to increase to the maximum allotment for their household size to all recipients. These benefits are decided on a month-to-month basis, with August the most recent approved month.

California WIC Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children


  • Text: APPLY to 91997
  • Call: WIC at 888-942-2229
  • Visit:

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a free food and nutrition education program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children under age five who have a low income (up to 185% of the federal poverty level) and are at nutritional risk.

Many WIC offices are not providing face-to-face services and instead are providing remote services to families through outreach by phone, text and email. People who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 crisis and are pregnant, postpartum or have a child under five years old can apply for WIC services.

As of July 1, 2020, WIC has temporarily expanded food choices.

As of April 28, 2020 you can use your EBT card to make purchases online. Individuals and families can purchase groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and Walmart. If you receive CalWORKs, you may also be able to use your cash benefits to make purchases online at Wal-Mart.

211 LA Food Finder
LA County’s mapping tool for locating food resources

LA County created a mapping tool that makes locating food resources near you easy. Add your location and filter by type of resource, then click to see detailed information about the resource and how to access it. 211 Food finder provides information on:

  • Food Benefit Programs like CalFresh and WIC
  • Groceries/Food Pantries. People looking for free or low cost groceries or food boxes can search this category to find food distribution sites near them. 
  • Meals. People looking for prepared food or who are unable to prepare their own food can search the Meals category to find food resources. Due to COVID-19, services that offered group meal settings have transitioned to delivery or pick-up services.
  • Senior Food Needs. Older adults with food needs have options to sign up for various meal and food support programs. Age, income, and other requirements may vary. 
  • Child/Youth Nutrition. This includes summer food programs listed for school age children.
  • Temporary COVID-19 Food Programs. Several temporary programs were launched to provide people with food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these programs closed during the summer months, although some may be extended.

Meals for Students

  • See 211 LA Food Finder school info above to search for student meals near you.
  • The California Department of Education has posted a list of all school districts and locations offering grab-and-go meals during the COVID-19 school closure. They’ve also created an app to help families locate meals.
  • LAUSD opened centers for students to pick up two meals per day from 7am-10am. Details here.
  • Compton Unified – Meals are available at every CUSD school site on Tuesdays (four meals) and Thursdays (six meals) from 8:00 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. Details here.
  • Inglewood Unified is providing food services for registered students at 15 sites. Details here.
  • Hawthorne School District is providing free grab and go breakfast and lunch, Monday-Thursday from 9:30-12:30pm. Details here.
  • Pasadena Unified School District. Grab & Go breakfast and lunch will be distributed curbside Monday-Friday between 9-12 at all PUSD school sites.  Weekend Grab & Go lunches will be offered at certain locations.  Details here.
  • Alliance Charter Schools serving meals to their students at locations here.

The Alliance for Children’s Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth.


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