College Creek Marketplace is the only location on campus that accepts CalFresh food benefits
Humboldt State University is one of the first universities to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
According to Iran Ortiz, a 5th year student and Oh SNAP! employee, options on campus are limited to where students can spend their food stamps.
“The only place on campus that accepts food stamps, or CalFresh benefits, is the Marketplace,” Ortiz said.
CalFresh, previously called food stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture run program that provides eligible households with an EBT card that works like a debit card.
According to CalFresh’s website, EBT cards can be used at most grocery stores and farmers markets, but benefits are meant to be supplemental and not intended to meet a family’s entire food need.
The process to sign up for CalFresh can be tricky if doing it by yourself. But Oh SNAP! is student-driven with a mission is to increase HSU students access to food and they can help with the process of signing up for EBT.
“Although we are not eligibility workers, so we can not determine benefits or how much you get, we can help you out throughout the whole process of CalFresh. We’ve been trained by CalFresh workers to know the whole process and all of that.”Iran Ortiz
Ortiz explains how her and other Oh SNAP! employees can help students sign up.
“The process for students is different because they abide by student eligibility requirements,” Ortiz said. “Although we are not eligibility workers, so we can not determine benefits or how much you get, we can help you out throughout the whole process of CalFresh. We’ve been trained by CalFresh workers to know the whole process and all of that.”
Sara Olsen is a third year with previous experience with Oh SNAP! who remembers some of the requirements of signing up for EBT benefits through Oh SNAP!
“The people who help, volunteer and work for Oh SNAP! are very helpful and will give you paperwork to fill out,” Olsen said. “Which they will then fax in office if you’re ready.”
Olsen explains that after submitted the paperwork, CalFresh will call and set up a phone interview. After deemed eligible for the program, an EBT card is sent in the mail.
Alexandre Sicaud is the manager of the College Creek Marketplace and doesn’t know the exact reasoning behind the Marketplace being the only place to accept EBT on campus.
“We used to only have one EBT scanner, then we upgraded to two,” said Sicaud. “But as for why we’re the only place on campus, it might have to do with the fact that we’re the largest grocery operation.”
CalFresh benefits are provided to help pay for groceries. In fact, hot foods can not be purchased with an EBT card in an effort to promote healthy and nutritious alternatives.
If you need help filling out CalFresh paperwork, head to the Oh SNAP! office located in the Recreation Wellness Center, room 122.