What is the purpose of the Restaurant Meals Program?
The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program is a voluntary component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It enables elderly (age 60 or over), disabled and homeless CalFresh recipients to purchase prepared meals at participating restaurants. Its goal is to provide a variety of nutritious meal choices to eligible CalFresh recipients.
Are there any fees that I must pay to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program?
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:
Note: If you choose to integrate EBT into your current commercial POS equipment, you will need to contact your vendor and ask about additional fees.
How long does it take to become an authorized restaurant?
The entire process to become authorized takes approximately 60 to 90 days.
How do I submit my application for the RMP to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)?
The County will submit your completed application, approved MOU and all supporting documentation to FNS. You will be notified when your application has been processed.
What happens if a participating restaurant changes ownership or closes for business?
The restaurant owner must notify the County, and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) when a restaurant changes ownership or closes. This ensures that the authorization is cancelled immediately since the prior owner's authorization is NOT TRANSFERABLE. If the new owner wants to continue to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program, he/she must sign an MOU with the County and apply for authorization with the FNS.
How do I know if a customer who provides a Golden State Advantage (EBT) card is eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program?
The state issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) equipment or your updated EBT integrated Point-of-Sale (POS) device has an Automated Eligibility Identifier that enables you to automatically verify if an EBT card can be processed for the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program. EBT cards work similar to debit and credit cards.
Where can I refer a customer whose Golden State Advantage (EBT) card was denied when processed on the EBT/POS device?
You may inform the customer to contact the ACCESS Customer Service Center at 1-877-328-9677 or visit their local Family Resource Center.
Can I process an EBT cash transaction when an EBT cardholder, not eligible to participate in the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program, wants to use the EBT cash as payment for meals?
Yes, an EBT cardholder not eligible for the program, who has an EBT cash account on their card, may use it at any site that accepts, including Restaurant Meals Program sites. If the CalFresh benefit amount is less than the amount of purchase, the food vendor may process a combined transaction; paying cash or using the EBT benefits from another program. Can a participating restaurant allow a mixed transaction (EBT CalFresh and EBT cash combined)? Yes, you may process a mixed transaction when the EBT cardholder, eligible for both programs, informs the cashier that meal payment is EBT CalFresh and EBT cash combined.
How can the eligible CalFresh recipient know that our restaurant is participating in the program?
The Social Services Agency (SSA) will provide you with a RMP sign for placement on your business’ door or window. CalFresh recipients will be told to look for the sign to identify restaurants participating in the RMP. Additionally, your restaurant’s name and address will be placed on a list of participating restaurants, which will be available to eligible participants by calling 2-1-1. Community organizations, community partners and advocates may also have lists available.
How long does it take to be reimbursed for the Golden State Advantage (EBT) card meal purchases?
EBT meals purchases are usually reimbursed within forty-eight hours. If you have questions about EBT reimbursement, call the Retailer Helpline at (866) 328-4212.