Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - for Recipients


About the Restaurant Meals Program 
Information for Recipients

To find a list of participating restaurants, click here.

1. What is the Restaurant Meals Program?

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 Golden State Advantage (EBT) card.

2. What can the Restaurant Meals Program do for me?

If you are elderly (age 60 or over), disabled*, or homeless, and receiving CalFresh benefits, you are eligible to purchase meals using your Golden State Advantage (EBT) card at participating restaurants.

*Definition of disabled:

  • Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits
  • Receiving Railroad Retirement Benefits
  • Receiving Veteran’s Administration (VA) benefits based on total disability
  • Approved for and currently receiving disability-based Medi-Cal Benefits

3. Do I have to apply for the Restaurant Meals Program?

No, an application is not required. However, you must meet one of the conditions in Question #2.

4. 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.

5. 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. To find a list of participating restaurants:

6. 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.

7. Will I be charged 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.

8. Can I use my CalFresh benefits to purchase alcohol?

No, you cannot use your CalFresh benefits to purchase alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, or any non-food items.

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

Yes, you must inform the cashier that you will use a mixed transaction (EBT CalFresh and EBT cash combined). Before you buy a meal, check your last receipt or call EBT Customer Service (1-877-328-9677 or TTY at 1-800-735-2929) to find out the balance in your EBT CalFresh account.

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

Call Access (877-328-9677) to determine the reason your transaction was denied.

11. Need more information?

Call 2-1-1 or contact your worker for more information regarding the Restaurant Meals Program.