Food Assistance Resources

Click for quick access of the following resources: CalFresh| Dolphin Pantry| Hot Meals | Healthy Living| Ekho Bites Food Alert Program| Additional Resources


Apply to CalFresh Today!

CalFresh Logo

CalFresh (federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program or SNAP) can provide you on-going healthy and nutritional food assistance that puts up to $280 in your pocket each month to use at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

CalFresh Eligibility Flow Chart


Step 1: Contact us! Basic Needs Staff can help you determine whether you may be eligible to receive benefits.

Step 2: If you think you may be eligible, complete and submit a CalFresh application on your own or with Basic Needs Staff via phone, zoom, or during Dolphin Pantry open hours. Although the application is available online, we encourage you to apply with the help of our team because we are very familiar with the questions and will likely get you through the application faster.

If issues arise with your application, Basic Needs Staff can be a link between you and the Ventura Dept. of Social Services.

Once you have been approved and are receiving benefits, we can send you a 6 month reminder to help you to continue receiving CalFresh benefits (see Step 5 below)—our team wants to help you!

Step 3: Once the application is submitted, your 30-day application period begins.

Step 4: During this 30 day period, you will need to have a phone interview AND also submit verification documents.


  • Complete your INTERVIEW with the county Dept. of Social Services office by phone (The county office will either call or mail you a date and time for your interview).
  • Don’t miss the call! Pick up the phone to unknown numbers for the next several days as it might be the Dept. of Social Services. Have a few time frames in mind that might work for a brief interview (eg, I don’t have class or work Tuesday and Friday mornings). Treat the interview like a work shift or doctor appointment and don’t miss it. If you do miss the interview, call the Dept. of Social Services right away and speak with your case worker about rescheduling—leave your first and last name with the best phone number to reach you.
  • Let Basic Needs Staff know via emailing if you have not heard from the county within the first 10 days after application submission.


You will be required to provide verification documents to your county office. This must also be completed during the 30 day period. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit verification documents that meet their requirements.

Examples of verification documentation include:

  • Copy of Identification
  • Proof of Address
  • Utility Bill
  • Pay Stubs
  • Financial Aid Award Letter and Course Schedule (if a student)

Step 5: In about 6 months after receiving your benefits, in order to keep the benefits coming to your EBT card, you will be required to do the following:

  • Complete a Semiannual Report (called a SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. The County will let you know when this is due and, if we help you apply, our team will text you to remind you.
  • Complete a Recertification Application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period. The County will let you know when your Recertification Application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your interview. Most interviews will be conducted over the phone.


Documents You Need to Have for the CalFresh Application
All CalFresh applicants must submit verification documents. Typical student verification documents include:

    • Proof of Identity 
    • Earned/Unearned income
    • Proof of Residency (mail with current address)
    • Financial Aid/Work Study Award
    • Proof of Enrollment or  Course Registration
    • Meal Plan Contract (if applicable)
    • Housing and Utility Costs

For a list of university programs that qualify for a student exemption, visit: CalFresh Resource Center and scroll down to "CalFresh Food Student Eligibility: Approved Programs to Increase Employability".

If you would like to make a CalFresh application assistance appointment with Basic Needs Staff email to set up a telephone or Zoom meeting.

Apply to CalFresh Today!

Dolphin Pantry & Hygiene

The CSU Channel Islands Dolphin Pantry exists to provide immediate food, toiletries and basic necessities at no cost to students in need. The goal of the Dolphin Pantry is to decrease the impact that food and hygiene insecurities have on the academic success of students and to alleviate hunger within our student community. The Dolphin Pantry is located in Arroyo Hall room 114.

Dolphin Pantry Hours (May 21, 2024-August 22, 2024)*
  • Tuesday: 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Friday: By Appointment

*or by appointment, email

Students may retrieve up to five items per day.  Student/state ID and masks are recommended. Hygiene and limited cleaning supplies are available upon request for students only.

Donations to the Dolphin Pantry are being accepted, please email to coordinate the donation. To financially contribute to the Pantry please visit Help a Student in Need section.

Hot Meals Program

The Basic Needs Program has dining cards loaded with two or more meals for Islands Café. These cards are available for students to provide access to hot meals. If you are experiencing food insecurity and lack access to a kitchen, or if you encounter a student that may be in need of a hot meal, please complete a self-referral form, community referral form (found on our landing page), or email so we can assess what resources we can offer and provide one or more hot meal cards to those eligible.

CalFresh Healthy Living Program

The Basic Needs Program offers nutrition education and basic cooking skills workshops on campus to CI students. Programming efforts from the Healthy Living Program include Harvest of the Month Farmer's Markets, Action Days such as Rethink your Drink or Healthy Snack Day, and in person or virtual cooking classes where students learn to prepare one or more recipes and then get to enjoy the items they have prepared. Past workshops have included microwave cooking, blender cooking, safe cooking temperatures for meat, and more. The Healthy Living Program also collaborates with campus partners on the campus garden and Ekho Bites Food Alert Program. To request a Healthy Living workshop for your class or group, please email Basic Needs at

Ekho Bites Food Alert Program

CI students can access prepared food left over from campus events and activities via the Ekho Bites Food Alert Program. To sign up, download the goCI app from the App Store or the Play Store.

  1. Once you have downloaded the goCI app, open it and log in to your student account.
  2. From the front page select "More Services" and then select Ekho Bites from the drop down menu. 
  3. A new page will open, describing the Ekho Bites Food Alert Program.
  4. Read the description and then select either “About Opting in” for more information or “Opt in to Ekho Bites”.
  5. A new page will open with a short description of the Ekho Bites Food Alert Program and a plus (+) sign on the right of the page. Select the plus sign to complete the opt in process.
  6. That’s it! You are now signed up to receive push notifications regarding prepared food left over from campus events and activities.
  7. To opt out of Ekho Bites Food Alerts, return to the page with the plus (+) sign following the above steps. You will see a minus (-) sign next to the program description. Select the minus sign to complete the opt out process.

Additional Resources

Local Food Pantry – Find a Pantry
Farmers’ Markets – Find a Market
Free Recipe Book – Good and Cheap (PDF, 7MB)

Apply for Food Assistance

For additional information, please contact the Dolphin Pantry at 805-437-2067 or

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