Restaurants and EBT
California’s Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allows eligible homeless, elderly, and/or disabled EBT cardholders receiving CalFresh benefits to purchase hot prepared foods at participating restaurants using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
RMP eligibility for EBT cardholders is determined by each county and is automatically verified through the point-of-sale (POS) equipment at the time of each EBT transaction at authorized restaurants. If a client is ineligible, an error message will appear on the POS device and the transaction will not be approved. Denial codes displayed on POS systems vary.
A restaurant interested in accepting CalFresh benefits should call the SNAP Retailer Service Center at (877) 823-4369 to obtain a paper Meal Service Application, Form FNS-252-2. Once enrolled in the RMP, a restaurant must have or obtain POS equipment that can process EBT transactions, and the equipment must include a personal identification number (PIN) pad. For assistance and more information, contact the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program Unit at CDSSRMP@dss.ca.gov.
Restaurants are prohibited from charging sales tax or meal tax on prepared foods purchased with EBT food benefits, such as CalFresh or SNAP benefits. However, prepared foods purchased with EBT cash benefits are taxable.
For more information about the RMP, visit https://www.cdss.ca.gov/rmp.
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