LA County is doing a great job at outreach to explain the service.
They are posting information fact sheets here:
This is the text from one of them.
Food stamp benefits are now a card not coupons:
Food stamps are not paper coupons anymore. Now you get an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. It is called the Golden State Advantage Card, and it works like a debit card from a bank. Your monthly benefit is put on the card automatically each month. When you buy food at the store, you just slide the card through the card reader like an ordinary debit or credit card.
The card is faster, safer, and more private:
With the card, you can pay for your purchases faster than counting out coupons. The card is easier to carry than coupons, and it is more private because it looks like an ordinary debit or credit card. It is also safer and more secure, because unlike paper coupons no one else can use your card if it is lost or stolen. The card also cuts down on food stamp program fraud and abuse.
Easy to use:
Your monthly food stamp benefit is put on the card automatically each month. When you buy food at the store, you just slide the card through the card reader at the checkout register like an ordinary debit or credit card. The total amount of your purchases is deducted from your benefit balance. You can use the card to buy food at most supermarkets, at many smaller neighborhood and ethnic markets, and if you are homeless, elderly, or disabled you may purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants.
Checking your balance:
You can check your benefits balance at any time by calling the toll-free Customer Service Center number, 1-(877) 328-9677, or for TTY, 1-(800) 735-2929. You can also see your balance on your printed receipt every time you make a purchase with your card.
If you lose your card:
Unlike paper coupons, no one else can use your Golden State Advantage Card. If your card is lost or stolen, call the toll-free Customer Service Center number 1-(877)328-9677, or for TTY, 1-(800)735-2929 immediately to cancel your old
card and get a new one