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Restaurant Meals Program Recipients Information
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allows CalFresh clients who are 60 years or older, people with disabilities, and individuals who are homeless to use their EBT cards to purchase meals from participating restaurants. Spouses of older adults and of people with disabilities are also eligible. For all other CalFresh recipients, the federal rules preventing the purchase of prepared food still apply.
The Restaurant Meals Program allows you to use your CalFresh electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants. This program is available to you, if you meet one of the following conditions:
- Elderly—age 60 years or older and your spouse (husband, wife, common-law husband, common-law wife)
- Disabled* and your spouse (husband, wife, common-law husband, common-law wife)—Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits; Railroad Retirement Benefit Annuities; or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
*Disabled is defined as:
- Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits, or
- Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or
- Receiving Railroad Retirement Benefits, or
- Receiving Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits based on total disability or paid as total by the VA, or
- Approved for and currently receiving Disability Determination Service Division (DDSD) Medi-Cal benefits.
You will continue to receive your monthly benefits as you do now. This program does not affect your CalFresh benefits in any way.
Purchasing Meals Is As Easy As 1 – 2 – 3
- Look for participating restaurants displaying the Restaurant Meals Program sign, or contact the county office at 888-472-4463 for a list of participating restaurants.
- Show your EBT card every time you visit an approved restaurant prior to ordering your meal so they can verify you are eligible.
- Purchase breakfast, lunch, and dinner from participating restaurants by using your EBT card.
- The restaurant will run your card through their point of sale (POS) device (ATM-like machines), verify eligibility, and then you may enjoy your meal.
- Receive a receipt for each meal purchase to show the cost of your meal and the balance on your EBT CalFresh benefits account.
NOTE: The Restaurant Meals Program is transitioning to become available statewide.
Questions and Answers
Who is eligible to the Restaurant Meals Program?
Homeless individuals, individuals who are elderly – age 60 years or older and their spouse (husband, wife, common-law husband, common-law wife), and disabled individuals and their spouse (husband, wife, common-law husband, common-law wife) – Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits; Railroad Retirement Benefit Annuities; or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
Do I have to apply for Restaurant Meals Program?
No, an application is not required. If you are eligible to participate, the Human Services Agency (HSA) will activate your current EBT card for this service.
What can the Restaurant Meals Program do for me?
The Restaurant Meals Program allows elderly, disabled and homeless CalFresh recipients to use CalFresh benefits to purchase prepared meals at participating restaurants by using their EBT card.
Will I receive more benefits when I participate in the Restaurant Meals Program?
No, participating in the Restaurant Meals Program will not change your benefit amount. The Restaurant Meals Program allows eligible recipients the option of using their CalFresh benefits at participating restaurants.
How do I find out if a restaurant is participating in the program?
A restaurant is participating in the program if the RMP logo is displayed on its door or window. For a current listing of participating restaurants:
- Search for a Participating Restaurant at 2-1-1 website.
- Call 2-1-1
- Call 1-888-472-4463
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 cannot be added to the cost of your meal.
Will I able to purchase beverages?
Yes, except for alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages may not be purchased with CalFresh benefits.
Will I be charged a tax or tip if I purchase a meal?
No, the participating restaurants are not allowed to charge tax or tip under the Restaurant Meals Program.
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.
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).
What do I do if my EBT CalFresh transaction is denied by a participating restaurant?
Preguntas y Respuestas
¿Quién es elegible para el Programa de comidas en restaurantes?
¿Tengo que solicitar el Programa de comidas en restaurantes?
There are no fees/dues that a restaurant owner must pay for the Restaurant Meals Program. However, if you choose to sign up with the State’s EBT vendor you will be charged for the use of the Point-of-Sale (POS) device. To learn more, contact goEBT about the RMP: (www.goebt.com or 800-921-1271).
Note: If you choose to integrate EBT into your current commercial Point-of-Sale equipment, you will need to contact your vendor and ask about additional fees.
¿Qué puede hacer el Programa de Comidas en Restaurantes por mí?
Yes, you can apply for all your restaurants to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. Only one MOU is required for two or more restaurants under the same ownership.
¿Recibiré más beneficios cuando participe en el Programa de comidas en restaurantes?
No, participar en el Programa de comidas en restaurantes no cambiará el monto de su beneficio. El Programa de comidas en restaurantes permite a los beneficiarios elegibles la opción de usar sus beneficios de CalFresh en los restaurantes participantes.
¿Cómo puedo saber si un restaurante participa en el programa?
Un restaurante participa en el programa si el letrero de RMP se muestra en la puerta o ventana. Para obtener una lista de los restaurantes participantes:
- Busque un restaurante participante en el sitio web 2-1-1.
- Llame al 2-1-1
- Llame al 1-888-472-4463
¿Qué debo hacer para comprar una comida?
Informe al restaurante que utilizará los beneficios de CalFresh para comprar su comida. Esto le permite al restaurante saber que no deben cobrarle impuestos y que las propinas o el alcohol no se pueden agregar al costo de su comida.
¿Podré comprar bebidas?
Sí, excepto bebidas alcohólicas. Las bebidas alcohólicas no se pueden comprar con los beneficios de CalFresh.
¿Me cobrarán un impuesto o una propina si compro una comida?
No, los restaurantes participantes no pueden cobrar impuestos o propinas en virtud del Programa de Comidas del Restaurante.
Después de comprar una comida, ¿recibiré un recibo de venta que muestre el saldo de mis beneficios de CalFresh?
Sí, su recibo de compra mostrará el costo de su comida y el saldo de sus beneficios de CalFresh.
Si mi beneficio EBT CalFresh no es suficiente para comprar una comida, ¿puedo usar mis beneficios de ayuda monetaria EBT para cubrir la diferencia del pago?
Sí, debe informarle al cajero(a) que va hacer una compra de transacción mixta (EBT CalFresh, EBT efectivo y/o efectivo combinados).
Se recomienda que verifique el saldo de sus beneficios antes de comprar una comida. Verifique su último recibo o llame al número gratuito de Servicio al Cliente de EBT (1-877-328-9677 o al TTY al 1-800-735-2929) para obtener esta información.
¿Qué hago si un restaurante participante rechaza mi transacción EBT CalFresh?
Debe llamar a la oficina del condado (888-472-4463) o llamar al número del Centro de servicio al cliente de EBT (1-877-328-9677 o al TTY al 1-800-735-2929).
Beware! There is an EBT scam to steal your benefits! If you’ve received a text or phone call asking for your personal information, contact your county right away. Your county and the state will never text or call you requesting your personal information such as your EBT card number and your personal identification number (PIN).
Never give your EBT Card number and PIN to anyone. With this information, someone could steal your benefits. Always keep your PIN and EBT Card number safe and secret.