The Restaurant Meals Program
allows citizens who are homeless, elderly (age 60 or over), receiving Social Security Disability, Railroad Retirement Benefit Annuities, or the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), to purchase meals at participating restaurants.
The rationale is that a homeless person has no place to cook or to store foods needed for cooking. They have no cold spot for milk, meats, or eggs and because they are often on the move, these folks should be able to eat wherever they are. A Senior may not be able to stand, cook, read cooking instructions or safely operate and clean a kitchen. This program lets them have nutritious meal that is hot and prepared. Physically disabled people who are low income are not likely to have access to an adaptive kitchen where they can cook with ease. This program removes a few barriers between them and safe, cooked meals.
“The Hot MealsProgram” as you will hear it called, does not allow funds enough for a hot meal every day, and probably not even many hot meals. The regular portion of the food stamp allowance is used.
Click here to see the list of current restaurants honoring the EBT card for hot meals if you are homeless, disabled or a senior citizen.
How to use this benefit
- Check the link above, and when you reach the restaurant look for the program symbol.
- Tell the server that you want to use this benefit. Not all staff are trained in how to scan your EBT card for Food Stamp payment processing and we want to avoid awkwardness at check out.
- Order your meal in accordance with CalFresh guidelines (EBT will not pay for alcohol) and check your receipt.