CalFresh free groceries program arrives at City College campus

Students at City College can take advantage of free grocery program through an on campus workshop.


David Ahumada

Students facing food insecurity have support on campus, including the CalFresh free groceries program and the emergency food pantry (pictured) in the BT building. By David Ahumada/City Times

Elisabeth Vermeulen, Staff Writer

College success starts with a balanced meal. San Diego City College understands the financial burdens students face and want to offer resources to decrease those challenges.

A CalFresh workshop will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in BT-301. 

“Lack of food resources would absolutely affect how a student performs in the classroom,” said Salem Berhanu, counselor at the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Office. “To pay students to pay for groceries means that they will be able to spend their financial aid money on something else.” 

Many students overlook the opportunity to apply due to eligibility, doubts and stigmas.


“Students think ‘food stamp’. When it comes from receiving government aid, but then if you think about it financial aid is also funded by federal student aid,” Berhanu said. “Educating students that CalFresh is just one form of student aid is important.” 

Recipients will receive a card that looks identical to a debit card, according to Berhanu.

County officials will be at the workshop and conducting interviews during their visit.

The on campus workshop is designated to save time for students who often have to balance work and school responsibilities. 

“Students will be able to complete the full application in one stop versus having to go to the county line and having to work with caseworkers and not knowing how long it will take,” Berhanu said. “The chances of you qualifying is very high because CalFresh is one of those services that the county really wants to give out.”

There is nothing to lose by applying said Berhanu.

Applicants will need to provide information such as: residency, I.D., citizenship status, social security, asset limits, income, and utility bills.

For students who are unable to attend, there will be another CalFresh workshop at Mary Hollis Conference Center, first floor, on Monday, March 4th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.