New California program provides up to $100 of free fresh food per month

Families and individuals can earn up to $100 per month to spend on fresh food with a new program at Northgate Markets in Southern California.

The program, called “Más Fresco,” will allow CalFresh participants to earn up to $100 every month to spend on fruits and vegetables.

CalFresh is California’s implementation of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – formerly known as “food stamps.”

To be eligible, you must be a CalFresh recipient, at least 18 years of age or older. Rewards can only be earned and used at a Northgate Market location in Southern California.

After enrolling for the free rewards program, participants will be randomly assigned one of two benefits:

  • Earn $2 for every $1 of CalFresh benefits spent on qualifying fruits or vegetables
  • Earn $4 for every $1 of CalFresh benefits spent on qualifying fruits or vegetables
  • Both have maximum rewards of up to $100 per month

The program also includes ongoing discounts and promotions on fruits and vegetables.

Once reward dollars are earned, the credit can be used to purchase more qualifying fresh fruits and veggies using their EBT card.

The Más Fresco program is a partnership between UC San Diego Health, the United States Department of Agriculture and Northgate González Market.

It aims to promote more consumption of fresh fruits and veggies among CalFresh recipients. Only qualifying purchases can be used to earn rewards.

  • Qualifying fruits and vegetables include:
  • Any variety of whole or cut fruits and vegetables
  • Bagged fruits and vegetables
  • Bagged or packaged salad mixtures
  • Garlic, onion, ginger, jalapenos, peppers and chilies

Fruits and vegetables that do not qualify:

  • Any food or product from the salad bar or deli, party trays, fruit baskets, or decorative vegetables and fruits, such as chilies, or garlic on a string or printed pumpkins
  • Nuts or fruit-nut mixtures
  • Bagged salad or vegetable or fruit kits with added ingredients, such as dressing, croutons, cheese, dips or sauces
  • Dried vegetables
  • Fruits and vegetables with added fats, oils or sugars
  • Fruits and vegetables with artificial, reduced-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners

As of 2022, there are over 2.6 million households that are currently receiving SNAP benefits or food stamps in California.


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