CalFresh is the California implementation of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program, which provides financial assistance for purchasing food to low-income California residents.
Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in states that provide state supplements to SSI are ineligible for SNAP/CalFresh pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 2015(g). The State Supplementation Program (SSP or SSI/SSP), also known as the SNAP cash-out program, is the state supplement to the SSI program and provides state funded supplemental food benefits to SSI recipients in lieu of SNAP benefits.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), while CalFresh is administered jointly by the USDA, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), and the welfare departments of the 58 counties of California:
Federal law mostly consists of the Food Stamp Act, and state law mostly consists of Chapter 10, Part 6, Division 9 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC). Federal regulations are codified in Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and state regulations are not part of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) but are "separately published" as the CDSS Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) and are "available for public use in the office of the welfare department of each county". The MPP includes the Eligibility and Assistance Standards Manual (MPP divisions 40-50, 81-82, 89-91), the Food Stamp Manual (MPP division 63), and the Electronic Benefit Transfer System Manual (MPP division 16). In addition to this manual, the CDSS often communicates policy direction to counties through periodic All County Letters (ACLs), All County Information Notices (ACINs), and business letters.