Group Homes and EBT

Group homes include group living facilities, such as housing for the elderly, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, battered-women shelters, and homeless shelters. Group homes can be authorized representatives for residents receiving benefits, and can use those benefits to purchase food for the facility. 

The group home may use a resident’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card on their EBT point-of-sale (POS) device and that cardholder’s food benefits will be transferred to the group home's CalFresh account. It works just like an EBT food benefit transaction at a store. The group home can then shop for food for the home using its own EBT card. 

If a resident leaves before the end of the month, the group home can return any unused portion of the food benefits to the recipient's EBT account using their POS device.

If your group home would like to participate, contact the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at (877) 823-4369 and request an application, or Link to request for the application. Once a facility is approved and an FNS number is assigned to it, Fidelity Information Services, LLC (FIS) will contact the group home about installing POS equipment.

Because all counties in California issue CalWORKs (and in some counties, General Assistance cash aid) and other cash benefits via EBT, the POS equipment can also be set up to accept these benefits. A group home may elect to use this feature, so residents can pay rent and other non-food costs using their EBT cards.