There are food resources for Californians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On this page:

Emergency food and food benefits

Food banks

Contact your local food bank for a list of places you can get food in your area.

Find a food bank near you

CalFresh food benefits

CalFresh provides food benefits to help people buy most foods at most grocery stores and farmers markets. People and families with low income can apply for CalFresh any time.

If you have a change in income–even a temporary one because of COVID-19–you can apply for CalFresh food benefits.

Apply for CalFresh

You can also call 1‑877‑847‑3663 (1‑877‑847‑FOOD) to apply.

EBT cards work online

CalFresh benefits (sometimes called SNAP or food stamps) are issued on an EBT card each month.

This card can be used to buy groceries online at:

You can also shop online and pay at pickup with your EBT card at: 

More information about using EBT cards

Temporary expanded eligibility for college students

Some college students are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits to help pay for groceries. Learn more about the temporary changes to student eligibility.

Apply for CalFresh for students


211 is a free and confidential information and referral service that connects you to local resources. It is available in over 100 languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you need assistance finding food or other essential services, call 211 to speak to someone who can help.

Families with children

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food benefits

WIC helps families get access to healthy foods and a lot more. WIC serves babies and children up to age 5, pregnant women, and new mothers. Parents, grandparents, foster parents, or guardians can enroll children up to their 5th birthday. Working families and migrant families can apply too.

From June to September 2021, families receiving WIC will have a temporary increase in their monthly WIC fruits and vegetables benefit.

If you recently lost your job because of COVID-19, you can apply for WIC. You can also apply if your income has changed or you are unable to work, even temporarily due to COVID-19.

Visit, or call 1‑888‑942‑9675 (1‑888‑WIC‑WORKS) for more information.

School meals and the ‘CA Meals for Kids’ app

Check your local school district for information on how and where to receive free or reduced-cost school meals.

The CA Meals for Kids app can help students and families find meals. The app is free and can be downloaded from Apple’s App StoreGoogle’s Play Store, and Microsoft’s App Store.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school can get extra benefits to help buy food when schools are closed due to COVID-19. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT. Families with children under age 6 that receive CalFresh food benefits are also eligible. Students can still pick up to-go school meals even if they receive P-EBT benefits.

P-EBT does not:

  • Require sign-up or an application
  • Affect other benefits you may be receiving
  • Impact immigration or make the recipient a public charge

Visit the P-EBT website for more information about this program.

P-EBT cards are automatically mailed directly to families with eligible children. Make sure your child’s school has their most current mailing address on file.

P-EBT cards work the same as CalFresh EBT cards. You can use them online.

If you need help, call the P-EBT Helpline at 877-328-9677 (M-F, 6 am to 8 pm).

Older adults

Home-delivered meals for older adults

Older adults (aged 60+) who live on their own may be able to receive prepared meals delivered to their home, regardless of income level.

To find a meal provider in your area, call 1-800-510-2020 or visit Find Services in My County.

Food bank food for older adults

Older adults (aged 60+) can get a box of nutritious food to help supplement their diets through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). These food banks distribute CSFP boxes. Call the food bank in your area for more information on receiving CSFP boxes.

California COVID-19 information hotline

The California COVID-19 hotline connects older adults to state and local services and resources. You can also get answers to general questions about COVID-19.

Call 833‑422‑4255 (833‑4CA‑4ALL) for assistance (M-F, 8 am to 8 pm, and Sat-Sun, 8 am to 5 pm).


If you need assistance finding food or other essential services, call 211 to speak to someone who can help.

Find more services

More services and supports are available to:

  • Older adults
  • Adults with disabilities
  • Family caregivers

To connect with more services and supports in your local area, call 1-800-510-2020 or visit Find Services in My County.

Learn more about programs and services available from the California Department of Aging.

Great Plates Delivered

The Great Plates Delivered program ended on July 9, 2021. The Great Plates program provided older adults with daily meals delivered to their homes from local restaurants. This program helped seniors stay safe at home during the pandemic.

Home-delivered meals

If you still need home-delivered meals, there are other meal delivery programs available. Call 1‑800‑510‑2020 to get help finding a meal delivery program in your local area.