What can I buy with CalFresh EBT card? - California Food Stamps Help (2022)

Last Updated on 8/16/22

If you have just been approved for Food Stamps and issued a SNAP EBT Card, you are probably wondering what you can buy with CalFresh EBT card. We can answer that question for you.

In this post, we will provide the list of eligible food stamps items, including what you can and cannot buy with your California SNAP EBT Card.

First, we will provide a list of places you can use your CalFresh Card

Also, we will explain how you can use your CalFresh EBT card to shop online for groceries for delivery.

Next, we will provide the list of food items you can purchase with your EBT card.

Lastly, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about foods you can and cannot buy with CalFresh EBT.

This post will cover:

  • What stores accept CalFresh EBT cards online?
  • What you can buy with CalFresh EBT card
  • CalFresh Eligible Food Items FAQs

What stores accept CalFresh EBT cards online?

You can use your CalFresh EBT card to make purchases online at Albertsons, Amazon, Safeway, Vons, and Walmart.

(Video) CalFresh Webinar Series Presents How to Shop using your EBT Card !

Additionally, Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons currently accept EBT online when
choosing pickup at participating Drive Up and Go stores.

To find out more about how to purchase food online with your EBT card, see our post on How to buy groceries with CA EBT Online.

What you can buy with CalFresh EBT card

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase any food EXCEPT heated foods.

See below for the complete list of foods you are allowed to buy.

Additionally, we have listed below foods that you CANNOT buy with your CalFresh EBT card.

Here’s what you can buy with CalFresh EBT:

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dairy products;
  • Breads and cereals;
  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.

You CANNOT use CalFresh benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.
  • Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
  • Prepared Foods fit for immediate consumption
  • Hot foods
  • Any nonfood items such as:
    – Pet foods
    – Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
    – Hygiene items, cosmetics

CalFresh Eligible Food Items FAQs

We usually get questions from our readers about specific food items so we have provided answers to the most frequently askeditems.

Can I order groceries online and have my items delivered?

If you are a CalFresh EBT Cardholder in California, you can shop online with your SNAP EBT Card for grocery delivery and pick-up at Walmart, Amazon, and other grocery stores through Instacart.

Here’s the full list of participating grocery stores:

(Video) 10 SURPRISING THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU CAN BUY WITH YOUR EBT CARD IN 2022!!! (Snap - Food Stamps)

  • Albertsons
  • ALDI
  • Amazon
  • Cardenas Markets
  • Food 4 Less
  • FoodMaxx
  • Gong’s IGA Market
  • Lucky Supermarkets
  • Pavilions
  • Rancho San Miguel Markets
  • Safeway
  • Sam’s Club Scan and Go
  • Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Super King Market
  • Superior Grocers
  • The Market by Superior
  • Vons
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods

Can you use California EBT Card to buy hot food?

Yes.The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allows CalFresh recipients who are 60 years of age or older, disabled, or homeless to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase lower-cost prepared meals at approved participating restaurants in certain counties.

If you fit one of the groups described above, you can use your CalFresh California EBT card at select restaurants and fast-food chains throughout the state.

Currently, the restaurant meals program is active in the following counties:

  • Alameda
  • Fresno
  • Los Angeles
  • Mariposa
  • Monterey
  • Orange
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Siskiyou
  • Tehama
  • Ventura

Do farmers’ markets accept CalFresh?

Yes! Many California farmer’s markets accept CalFresh benefits.

Additionally, some farmer’s markets in California offer Market Match, a program that doubles your CalFresh spending on fruits and vegetables.

Currently, Market Match offered at 130 farmers’ markets across the state of California.

At participating markets, CalFresh shoppers can double their food dollars, receiving additional market coins for free to spend on fruits and vegetables.

For example, if you spend $10 in CalFresh benefits, you will get $20 total to spend on healthy food at the farmer’s market.

Also, many farmers’ markets accept other benefits such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.

(Video) SNAP Food Stamps EBT Card & P-EBT: What Can You Buy & Cannot Buy With EBT Food Stamps Card in 2021

Can you buy energy drinks with CalFresh?

Energy drinks that have a nutrition label are eligible foods you can buy with your CalFresh benefits.

However, energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore not eligible under food stamps rules.

Can you buy cold rotisserie chicken with EBT?

Unfortunately, No. You cannot use CalFresh to buy rotisserie chicken the program rules prohibit spending on hot foods.

Can I buy deli food with CalFresh EBT?

You are not allowed to use CalFresh to buy food you can eat at the premises or hot food in general.

You are only allowed to buy food you are taking home to prepare.

Therefore, when it comes to Deli foods, you cannot buy hot food from the deli or prepared foods like mac n cheese, chicken or sandwiches, stuff from the salad bar.

However, you can buy deli meats and cheeses and cold uncooked items from the deli with your CalFresh EBT card as long as you are going to take them home to prepare.

Furthermore, some delis that take CalFresh will display items that are eligible.

Can you buy a birthday or Ice Cream cake with CalFresh EBT?

Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible for purchase with CalFresh benefits as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.

Can you buy Vitamins, Supplements, and Power Bars with CalFresh?

The eligibility of vitamins and supplements, power bars, energy drinks, and other branded products must meet the following guidelines:

(Video) How to Check California EBT Card Balance

  • Items that carry a nutrition facts label are eligible foods
  • Items that carry a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore NOT eligible

Can you buy Pet Food with CalFresh EBT?

No, you cannot use your CalFresh EBT benefits to buy pet food.

This is directly from the USDA Website.

If you attempt to use your CalFresh card to buy pet or dog food, you will be violating the law – which could land you in jail.

What you can buy with CalFresh EBT card Summary

Here’s the bottom line:

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase any food EXCEPT heated foods.

Furthermore, You CANNOT use CalFresh benefits to buy non-food items, including Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco.

CalFresh recipients over age 60, or those who have a disability, or homeless, may be able to use your CalFresh at participating restaurants as a part of the Restaurant Meals Program.

Questions?

We hope this post on what you can buy with CalFresh EBT card was helpful.

If you have further questions about the Public Charge Rule, CalFresh, or California EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about CalFresh and CalFresh EBT, including:

(Video) Emergency Food Stamps California: How To Get Calfresh Benefits In Less Than 3 Days

  • Free Admission with California EBT (2021 Guide)
  • Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
  • California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
  • How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
  • January Extra Food Stamps Schedule
  • February Extra Food Stamps Schedule

FAQs

What can I not buy with CalFresh? ›

MYTH: I can only buy certain types of food with CalFresh benefits. FACT: You cannot use CalFresh to buy non- food items such as cigarettes or tobacco, pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, vitamins, and medicines, even if they are sold at food stores.

What can you use your Cal CalFresh card for? ›

You can use CalFresh to buy food items, plus seeds and plants that grow food for your household to eat. What am I not allowed to buy? You cannot buy any food that will be eaten or heated in the store.

Can you buy hot food with EBT in California? ›

The California Restaurant Meals Program allows eligible homeless, disabled, and/or elderly (ages 60 and above) CalFresh benefit recipients to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase hot, prepared food from participating restaurants.

Can you buy hot food with EBT? ›

Generally, food that is hot when sold or food that is sold to be eaten in the store cannot be purchased with your EBT card. This also rules out rotisserie chicken and prepared deli foods.

How do I get cash from my EBT card in California? ›

Step 1 Insert or swipe your card in the ATM. Step 2 Enter your four-number Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the keypad and press the “OK” or “ENTER” key. Step 3 Select “WITHDRAW CASH” and then select “CHECKING.” (Some ATMs use different words.)

Can I use CalFresh at Trader Joe's? ›

How do I use the CalFresh card? It works just like any other debit card. You can use it at most major grocery stores like Trader Joe's and to order groceries online from your favorite places like Amazon.com.

Does McDonald's take EBT in California? ›

Frugal Reality Takeaway: McDonald's doesn't accept EBT cards in most states. Only select McDonald's restaurants in California and Arizona take EBT cards. In addition, you can only use your EBT benefits if you live in a state that participates in the RMP-approved fast food restaurant.

Can you buy soda with food stamps? ›

While not explicitly mentioned, soda can be purchased using SNAP benefits. A 2016 report from the USDA found that sweetened beverages, like soda, are the most commonly purchased items by SNAP recipients across the U.S. “Cold drinks (fountain drinks, slushies, iced coffee, smoothies, and other similar items, etc.)

Can you buy vitamins with food stamps? ›

Things You CANNOT Buy With SNAP Benefits

Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.

Can I buy protein powder with EBT? ›

Only protein powders sold as food can be purchased with food stamps. Protein powders sold as supplements are not EBT eligible.

What is the most food stamps one person can get? ›

Subtract 30% of net income from the maximum allotment for the household size... What are the SNAP work requirements? In general, people must meet work requirements to be eligible for SNAP.
...
Frequently Asked Questions.
People in HouseholdMaximum Monthly Allotment
1$281
2$516
3$740
4$939
5 more rows
1 Oct 2021

Can I get cash off my EBT card at an ATM? ›

All states issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps, through EBT cards. SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase food items and cannot be used to withdraw cash.

How do I know if I have cash benefits on my EBT card? ›

For cash and food benefit balance you may call Customer Service, check balance at a POS device, or at www.ebt.ca.gov. You may also check your cash balance at an ATM.

Are we getting extra food stamps this month in California 2022? ›

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for September, 2022. All households will receive at least the maximum CalFresh allotment. Households eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are now eligible to receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month.

Can I use my EBT card at Costco in California? ›

All our warehouse locations accept EBT cards. Costco adheres to all state laws regarding what can be purchased with EBT cards.

Does Trader Joe's accept EBT California? ›

EBT Cards are accepted as a form of payment at Trader Joe's stores, including Trader Joe's store locations in California. There are currently 192 Trader Joe's grocery stores in California.

Does Whole Foods take EBT? ›

What forms of payment are accepted at Whole Foods Market? In our stores, we accept cash, electronic food stamps (EBT), Apple Pay, major credit and debit cards, Whole Foods Market gift cards as well as Visa, American Express and Mastercard gift cards.

Does Subway take EBT in California? ›

California. California's EBT card is also known as the Golden State Advantage Card. The state is part of the RMP, and Subway is one of the restaurants that accept EBT.

Does Taco Bell accept EBT in California? ›

So far, only six states, including Arizona, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Michigan, participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. Therefore, you won't be able to use your SNAP EBT card at Taco Bell unless you live in one of these states.

Does Pizza Hut accept EBT in California? ›

Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands, accepts Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card payments at select locations in California through the state's CalFresh Restaurant Meals program, according to the First Quarter Finance (FQF) website.

What is EBT eligible? ›

Fruits and vegetables; Meat, poultry, and fish; Dairy products; Breads and cereals; Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and.

What does EBT stand for? ›

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participant to pay for food using SNAP benefits.

Can you buy vitamin gummies with EBT? ›

No. USDA currently has a policy prohibiting the purchase of vitamins and mineral supplements under SNAP benefits, but Congress never decreed that a multivitamin-mineral should be excluded from purchase with SNAP benefits.

Which protein powder can I buy with food stamps? ›

Yes, the good news is that you can buy meal replacement bars and shakes from brands like SlimFast, Premier Protein, Atkins, Pure Protein, and more with SNAP or EBT, formerly known as the Food Stamps Program.

Can you buy protein powder with food stamps at Walmart? ›

You can buy EBT eligible protein powders at supermarkets and grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, Albertson's, Publix, and more. Supplement stores like Vitamin Shoppe and GNC do not typically accept EBT.

Does KFC accept EBT in California? ›

Short Answers: KFC accepts EBT at locations in the states that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), including Arizona, California, and Florida.

Does Burger King take EBT in California? ›

But out of these six states, QuerySprout noted that Burger King only accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California. Locations are also very limited. And, only certain counties in these states accept EBT payments at Burger King restaurants. EBT card payments are also only accepted in-store or drive-thru, says QuerySprout.

Does Wendy's take EBT in California? ›

To use your EBT card at Wendy's, you must live in California and qualify for the CalFresh RMP per your state requirements. Wendy's does not accept EBT cards for online, in-app delivery, or pickup orders placed via DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, or Grubhub, according to Frugal Reality.

Can you buy pre workout with EBT? ›

Read the Product Label

If the label head reads “Supplement Facts,” it is considered a supplement and cannot be purchased using EBT. If the label head reads “Nutritional Facts,” then the protein powder is classified as a food, and EBT benefits can be used to purchase the product.

Can you buy protein powder with EBT at Costco? ›

All Costco warehouses accept EBT. Costco adheres to state laws when it comes to what you can and cannot purchase using your EBT card. While you can use your EBT card to stock up on bulk groceries, you cannot use it at the Costco food court, at Costco gas stations, or to order groceries online.

Can you buy protein powder on Amazon with EBT? ›

Protein Powder

To qualify, the powder must be sold as a food, which you can buy at Amazon with EBT so long as the item says it is SNAP eligible.

What is the maximum cash aid in California? ›

Beginning January 1, 2022, the amount of monthly child support that families getting cash aid will get to keep changed from "up to $50" to "up to $100" for a family with one child and "up to $200" for a family with two or more children living in the home.

What is the highest income for food stamps 2022? ›

What Is the Highest Income for Food Stamps in 2022?
Household SizeGross monthly incomeNet monthly income
1$1,396$1,074
2$1,888$1,452
3$2,379$1,830
4$2,871$2,209
5 more rows
24 Sept 2022

What bills count for food stamps? ›

When you apply for food stamps take the following:
  • Receipts of rent or mortgage payments.
  • Utility bills.
  • Medical expenses, doctor, hospital, medicine (over the counter and prescription medicines), transportation costs to and from the doctor, etc.
  • Child support payments.

Can you buy alcohol with EBT cash in California? ›

You can use food stamps to buy groceries, snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You can't use food stamps to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items. Which stores and restaurants take EBT food stamps?

Can I use my EBT card to buy gift cards? ›

If your EBT card is only approved for food items, you simply can't buy anything else. The store's system won't approve it.

Can food stamps buy alcohol? ›

Households can use Food Stamps to buy any food or food product that is made for humans. You can also buy seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food. Households CANNOT use Food Stamp benefits to buy: Alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Can I buy protein powder with EBT? ›

Only protein powders sold as food can be purchased with food stamps. Protein powders sold as supplements are not EBT eligible.

Do CalFresh benefits roll over? ›

Do CalFresh benefits roll over each month? Yes, any balance remaining on your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card will roll over to the following month. Your benefits won't be adjusted or reduced because you aren't using the full amount every month.

Does CalFresh affect credit score? ›

Your credit report doesn't list your income. Since government assistance programs are income-based, it makes sense that they wouldn't affect your credit. Being enrolled in programs like SNAP won't show up on your credit report and therefore can't be used against you when evaluating your credit.

Can I get cash off my EBT card at an ATM? ›

All states issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps, through EBT cards. SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase food items and cannot be used to withdraw cash.

How do I know if I have cash benefits on my EBT card? ›

For cash and food benefit balance you may call Customer Service, check balance at a POS device, or at www.ebt.ca.gov. You may also check your cash balance at an ATM.

How much is food stamps worth in cash? ›

Food stamps have a street value of 50 cents to the dollar, so you can $100 cash for $200 worth of food stamps.

Can you buy soda with food stamps? ›

While not explicitly mentioned, soda can be purchased using SNAP benefits. A 2016 report from the USDA found that sweetened beverages, like soda, are the most commonly purchased items by SNAP recipients across the U.S. “Cold drinks (fountain drinks, slushies, iced coffee, smoothies, and other similar items, etc.)

Can you buy pre workout with EBT? ›

Read the Product Label

If the label head reads “Supplement Facts,” it is considered a supplement and cannot be purchased using EBT. If the label head reads “Nutritional Facts,” then the protein powder is classified as a food, and EBT benefits can be used to purchase the product.

Does Trader Joe's accept EBT? ›

Yes! Here's How: Using an EBT card at Trader Joe's is quick and easy. You don't even have to separate your grocery items from your non-grocery items.

Can you buy vitamins with food stamps? ›

Things You CANNOT Buy With SNAP Benefits

Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.

Can you buy protein powder with EBT at Costco? ›

All Costco warehouses accept EBT. Costco adheres to state laws when it comes to what you can and cannot purchase using your EBT card. While you can use your EBT card to stock up on bulk groceries, you cannot use it at the Costco food court, at Costco gas stations, or to order groceries online.

Can you buy protein powder on Amazon with EBT? ›

Protein Powder

To qualify, the powder must be sold as a food, which you can buy at Amazon with EBT so long as the item says it is SNAP eligible.

Videos

1. How to Check your Calfresh EBT Card Balance
(iCalifornia Food Stamps)
2. SNAP Benefits & Pandemic EBT(P-EBT): What You Can & Cannot Buy with EBT Food Stamps Card?
(Michael's Matters)
3. How to Apply for EBT Card CalFresh $204 per Person! Food Stamps Food Bank PEBT SNAP Benefits WIC CA
(Billy Santos)
4. CalFresh program losing millions per month to organized crime
(KCRA News)
5. EBT UPDATE for July 2022: Who's Getting Extra Benefits & When
(Low Income Relief)
6. GOOD NEWS! August 2022 Schedule For EBT, P-EBT, SNAP Food Stamp Benefits
(Credit Viral)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated: 12/08/2022

Views: 6271

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.