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CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to participate?

If you are:

  • Homeless,
  • Elderly (age 60 or over), or
  • Receive Social Security Disability, Railroad Retirement Benefit Annuities, or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI),

And receive CalFresh benefits, Social Services can activate your ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER (EBT) card for meal purchases at participating restaurants.

2. Do I have to apply for Restaurant Meals Program?

No, an application is not required. If you are eligible to participate, Social Services can activate your current EBT card for this service.
When we activate your card, we will send you a notice with a list of restaurants providing this service.

3. What do I need to do to purchase a meal?

You will need to let the restaurant know that you will be using CalFresh benefits to purchase your meal.
This lets the restaurant know that they should not charge you any sales or meal taxes, and that gratuities or alcohol can not be added to the cost of your meal.

4. Will I able to purchase beverages?

Yes, with the exception of alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages may not be purchased with CalFresh benefits.

5. After purchasing a meal, do I get a sales receipt showing my CalFresh benefit balance?

Yes, your sales receipt will show the cost of your meal and your CalFresh benefit balance.

6. If my EBT CalFresh benefit is not enough to purchase a meal, can I use the EBT cash benefit to cover the difference for payment?

Yes, you must inform the cashier that you will be making a mixed transaction purchase (EBT CalFresh, EBT cash and/or cash combined).

It's recommended that you check your benefit balance before you buy a meal. Check your last receipt or call the toll-free EBT Customer Service number (1-877-328-9677 or the TTY at 1-800-735-2929) to get this information.

7. What do I do if my EBT CalFresh transaction is denied by a participating restaurant?

You must call your CalFresh worker or call the EBT Customer Service Center number (1-877-328-9677 or the TTY at 1-800-735-2929).

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