CalFresh Photo

Baja Fresh and Fresh Kitchen are two locations on campus that now take EBT cards for the Restaurant Meals Program. (Annisa Charles / Daily Titan)

Cal State Fullerton students eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program through CalFresh, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, can now receive prepared meals at select campus dining locations.

Five locations on campus began accepting the Restaurant Meals Program that is within CalFresh at the beginning of the fall 2022 semester: Pieology, Carl’s Jr., Togo’s, Fresh Kitchen and Baja Fresh. 

CalFresh is the nutritional assistance program offered by California that helps low-income individuals or households purchase groceries. Those who qualify receive an electronic benefit transfer card, which acts as a debit card that can be used at most grocery stores and farmers markets.

Basic Needs coordinator Victoria Ajemian said that the Restaurant Meals Program of CalFresh is the only way students can use their EBT cards on campus.

Jacob Juarez, first-year computer science major, said that he uses CalFresh and is glad that CSUF is supporting those who qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program. He said he went to use his EBT card at one of the supporting dining choices on campus, but the establishment said he had to sign up for the Restaurant Meals Program online through CalFresh. 

Juarez said that he wishes CSUF would advertise CalFresh being accepted at select restaurants more. He said that just having signs at each restaurant would be enough to advertise that they accept EBT for the Restaurant Meals Program.

“It’s nice to have like, some sort of benefits towards those that really need it, but it’s such a shame that it only qualifies for like, certain people within the campus,” Juarez said.

If students need help filling out the application for CalFresh, they can receive guided help through the Basic Needs staff on campus. They will also offer workshops for students to attend to help them with their CalFresh application.

The first workshop is Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in TSU Gabrielino and Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Quad. The second workshop will be held Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in TSU Gabrielino and Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Quad.

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