RIVERSIDE COUNTY — Elderly, disabled, and homeless customers who receive CalFresh benefits can use their Electronic Transfer Benefits (EBT) cards at eateries that participate in the county’s Restaurant Meals Program.

“We’re committed to assisting and protecting our vulnerable communities in this unprecedented time. We want to make sure people don’t go hungry,” said Allison Gonzalez, assistant director with the Department of Public Services (DPSS) Self-Sufficiency Division. “This program helps qualified customers get a hot, affordable meal.”

The Restaurant Meals Program is available to CalFresh participants who are homeless, disabled, or age 60 or older, including the spouse of a participant. Customers should contact their caseworker if they have questions about eligibility.

More than 150 restaurants across Riverside County participate in the program and display signs letting the public know they accept EBT cards. A complete list of participating restaurants is on the following link on the DPSS website by clicking here.

“Many of the participating establishments offer drive-through and takeout options. These options can help customers practice social distancing and other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Gonzalez added.

Riverside County vendors who want to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program must enter into an agreement with the county, then be certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Vendors are encouraged to apply and can visit the following on the DPSS website for more information: Click here .

“This is a wonderful opportunity for local restaurants to expand their customer base while helping those in need,” Gonzalez said. The Restaurant Meals Program is a state program in which counties voluntarily participate. Riverside County began its program in 2018.

Customers applying for CalFresh and other DPSS Self-Sufficiency benefits (Medi-Cal, CalWORKS, Child Care, General Assistance, and Welfare to Work) are encouraged to apply online by clicking here or by calling 877-410-8827.

Adults 60 and over, or adults with a disability who need supportive services and resources including home-delivered meals, or to coordinate pick-up meals at nutrition sites across the county, contact the Riverside County Office on Aging at 800-510-2020 or 951-867-3800, or click here.


Image Sources

  • Restaurant Meal: Image by Pexels from Pixabay