Food Stamps Welcomed At Restaurants

Food Stamps Welcomed At Restaurants

NOV. 23, 2010


We’ve known for some time that there are abuses of electronic welfare benefit (EBT) cards in California. The EBTs are accepted nearly anywhere that sells food — grocery markets, convenience stores and even restaurants. Costco does not accept food stamps or EBT cards, but Trader Joe’s does. The cards also have a cash component; they come loaded with cash allowances in addition to the electronic benefits.

What most people don’t know is that the government doesn’t keep a record of what is purchased with the cards. In the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Office of Systems Integration, the state agency that oversees the EBT welfare card system, one question asks, “Does the government know what I bought with my EBT card?” The answer may surprise many, especially after the recent exposure of the rampant fraud using the benefit cards:

“No,” states the FAQ. “The EBT system does not keep a record of what you buy.”

In theory, the EBT cards can only be used for “Any food for human consumption except hot food.” According to the EBT debit card agency, EBT cards and food stamps are accepted at many different food venues:

Farmers’ markets – 96 farmers’ markets in 16 counties currently accept food stamps in California.

Flea markets – California is the first state in the nation to allow the use of food stamps at flea markets. Few flea markets currently participate, though the program will likely expand to those with significant food sales.

Special Programs – Drug addict and alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation programs, group living arrangements, shelters for battered women and children, and public or private nonprofit homeless meal providers — if authorized by USDA — can purchase food on behalf of their residents; and in some cases these residential programs can redeem food stamps directly.

EBT cards can also now be used to buy seeds and plants to grow food for personal consumption.

However, pet food, alcohol and “any hot food meant for immediate consumption” (fast food), as well as non-food items such as soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, cigarettes, vitamins and medicines are not allowed for EBT purchase.

There are still some food stamps in use, but the majority of welfare recipients are issued EBT cards.

Concerned with the dignity of the “client,” In 1996, the federal government passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which mandated the replacement of coupon style food stamps with the electronic fund transfer program debit cards. In 1997, the California Electronic Benefits Transfer Act was passed as part of the CalWORKs welfare reform legislative package. But it wasn’t until 2005 that the EBT program was fully implemented in California.

California touts the EBT program as a success, and claims that fraud has been greatly reduced. “There is a certain ethos in government where we don’t dwell on our successes; there are so many mandates from politicians and citizens that by the time we catch up to standards on one program, it is time to jump to the next,” reads a report from the California Department of Social Services.

The restaurant meals program was launched to allow homeless, disabled and elderly households to purchase hot food. It is currently operating in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Tuolumne and Santa Clara Counties.

In what would seem a contradiction to established EBT policies, the EBT Restaurant Meals Program allows “eligible EBT cardholders receiving federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase hot prepared foods at participating restaurants or retail stores, using their EBT cards.”

California apparently didn’t like the name SNAP, so the state changed the program name to “CalFresh.”

Delores Gant with the Los Angeles County Public Social Services explained that the restaurant meals program is a food stamp program allowing clients to use the EBT card to purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants. This program is available to the card holder, or anyone in the food stamp household who is homeless, elderly or disabled. Authorized representatives can use the EBT card as well.

The restaurants participating in the program in the five California counties are encouraged by the state to “Increase your business earnings while serving your community.” The reason for the restaurant program, according to Gant, is that “Los Angeles County [like the other counties] has a large population of homeless, disabled and elderly food stamp households that are unable to prepare their own meals or store food.”

In order to participate, Gant said that restaurants need to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Los Angeles County and become certified by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

Approximately one-half of the restaurants in the program are chains or franchises, with the others being mom and pop establishments, said Gant. “We do not want just franchises so we choose mom and pop restaurants also,” she added.

The EBT restaurant program seems to be a success. There are 15 pages of participating restaurants in L.A. County. And even though fast food outlets are supposed to be disallowed in the food stamp program, numerous locations for Jack in the Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Popeye’s are included in the listing of participating EBT restaurants.

Lucinda Serynek, Communications Director with Sacramento County’s Human Services division, said that the Los Angeles County  program has “good participation” and is one of the best. But “it is up to the county whether or not to participate in the restaurant program,” she said. With budget cuts, Serynek said that many counties have opted not to participate.

The EBT card has two types of benefits: electronic-only funds as well as cash. Gant said that clients can use either the EBT card at participating restaurants, or use the cash.

CalFresh spending reports can be found on this website, broken down by month. The site includes a five-page application for CalFresh benefits and a “pre-screening tool.”


Write a comment
  1. daryl
    daryl 23 November, 2010, 23:31

    Was it you or the Sacramento Bee that published the recent story on California welfare vouchers were being cashed on Caribbean cruises and Hawaiian resorts?

    “Isn’t it truly wonderful that Other Peoples’ Money will never end?” -Representative Peter Pan.

    “Only if you REALLY believe.” -Representative Tinker Bell.

    Reply this comment
    • Daisy
      Daisy 23 October, 2013, 15:26

      WoW you want to talk about being uneducated….Really? I am educated & currently unemployed worked for my previous employer for the past 7 years I had to resign due to management being incompetent I truly enjoyed my job but had to remove myself as I was no longer happy with the acting managers work ethics. I have been submitting resumes literally everyday, gone to 3 interviews in the past month 1/2 since I resigned and have had no luck I no my value as an individual and refuse to get paid min wage so guess what I AM A RECIPIENT OF CalFresh & GR and will stand with my chin up and my head held high because in my honest opinion I have earned this government assistance and believe that those in need should apply as well. Sweetheart everyone like yourself will need a helping hand one day keep that in mind!

      Reply this comment
      • David
        David 6 August, 2015, 13:02

        I agree with you and hope that some day you will find a job… God bless, don’t give up, and you will make it. I’m currently in a training program for HVAC supported by cal. Unemployment program… While some people abuse it, many are saved by the programs and I hope they don’t ruin it for people that need it.

        Reply this comment
      • Sunset
        Sunset 2 April, 2016, 07:18

        So then you DID accept a minimum wage, funny! Just depends how you look at it. I however, LOST my job did not quit because I didn’t LIKE it or my bosses, I didnt, BUT I would not quit without having another job first. CalfResh, As I know, is NOT enough to eat all month at lEAST NOT IF YOU ATE GETTING LESS THAN 10.00 A DAY!

        Reply this comment
      • Fuck liberals
        Fuck liberals 6 February, 2017, 08:10

        That makes you a crybaby welfare recipient just quit cause I’m not happy waaaaaaa now give me dose food stamps so I git me some KFC you disgust me

        Reply this comment
      • Jokerboy
        Jokerboy 8 April, 2018, 07:39

        That’s really true I’m homeless and I use it too I use to have a house so yea ebt power

        Reply this comment
      • Smiley
        Smiley 3 June, 2018, 11:21

        Amen, I have the same situation on my end, very grateful for this temporary solution. People just don’t get it .I pray they truly never have to go through something like this in getting laid off. And not having any help. I pay taxes as well and love the fact my government gives back.

        Reply this comment
      • Ann Roberts
        Ann Roberts 8 May, 2019, 23:03

        Right on, Daisy.

        Reply this comment
      • Dlandry
        Dlandry 5 July, 2019, 08:09

        I know this is really old but i had to comment that “You should secure a new position BEFORE you leave your current one!” Doesn’t matter how bad it is, suck it up sweetheart!

        Reply this comment
    • Mickey
      Mickey 12 February, 2015, 12:32

      I have read all these comments and it amazes me at how quick alot of you are to judge for a yr my fiance was not eligible for food stamps besides being homeless just because he was still working when he went in the worker straight up said $200-400 is a good amount to pay for a hotel room and food it took him losing his job to qualify for the extra help yet we have all these people who have brand new cars name brand clothes recieve cash aid food stamps to the idiot that said all homeless people choose to be homeless your full of shit i have met alot of homeless people who are actively trying to rent a home but with not enough resources to freshen up they cant find a job to be able to pay rent my fiance and i arent homeless by choice but once again california does not have enough resources to help those that truly need help

      Reply this comment
  2. Charles
    Charles 24 November, 2010, 13:32

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. If a person can’t store or cook food then they can order off the dollar menu somewhere. Or get anything they want for that matter, their allowance will simply run out sooner. Anyone with several children and has access to cooking and food storage won’t be going to restaurants. I know one woman with three children who could eat quite well by shopping food specials, using coupons and planning. She wouldn’t consider paying ten or fifteen dollars or more for lunch at a fast food place. That was enough groceries for at least three meals.

    Reply this comment
  3. JoeS
    JoeS 27 November, 2010, 16:54

    Look at Jack in the Box. Sign says “We accept EBT.”

    Heck, EBT has been used in Hawaii, Vegas, Caribbean Cruises.

    We have a stupid political party running our state.

    Reply this comment
  4. DAK
    DAK 3 December, 2010, 12:11

    EBT is excepted at some Costcos if not all. I agree with Charles – if the EBT is blown on fast food that’s the recipients problem. I think some of you should put down your gavels and actually talk to the people who are on EBT and why.

    Reply this comment
  5. Jeff
    Jeff 3 December, 2010, 14:12

    DAK & Charles: I expect that you wouldn’t see anything wrong since you see nothing wrong with people on the dole.
    Do you believe that people should work for their living?
    Why not require everyone not disabled and receiving some type of government aid to do some type of work for the aid?
    I’m sure there are community services that we currently pay for that these able-bodied persons can perform for their support. Maybe a drug test as well.

    Reply this comment
      JOHNNY THE FOX 1 April, 2015, 10:22


      Reply this comment
  6. CDK
    CDK 3 December, 2010, 14:49

    EBT Card = Vote… “Wow! See how great California is!? Everything is FREE!!” Seriously though… it’s a vicious cycle. California is business unfriendly, Libs doll out OUR money to illegal aliens and welfare. There’s no motivation to get off of welfare as long as WE keep allowing the status quo to continue. It’s OUR fault CALIFORNIA! We keep voting these knuckleheads in ONE AFTER THE OTHER!

    Reply this comment
    • joanna
      joanna 12 August, 2013, 11:47

      Not only illegal aliens get welfare. I bet ur a white person that thinks lifeshould b handed to them and noy the ppl how realy need it.

      Reply this comment
  7. CDK
    CDK 3 December, 2010, 14:51

    EBT Card = Vote… “Wow! See how great California is!? Everything is FREE!!” Seriously though… it’s a vicious cycle. California is business unfriendly, Libs doll out OUR money to illegal aliens and welfare. There’s no motivation to get off of welfare as long as WE keep allowing the status quo to continue. It’s our fault California… We keep voting these knuckleheads in one after the other…

    Reply this comment
  8. ba
    ba 3 December, 2010, 17:20

    This is an outrage!!! we have refugees moving here by the hundreds and thousands. in san diego ca alone 200 per day fly in and go straight to the welfare office. rolling out the red carpet. They live here free and have a house full of babies so they can get more welfare. they know how to work the system! they are driving new cars and shop at the finest stores . all on our tax dollars. they get welfare ebt free phones the list goes on and on ! Meanwhile you have elderly people who have worked hard and paid taxes all their lives who are eating catfood!!!! I understand that some people may need help at certain times in their lives. but the help should be provided to people who have actually PAID into the system. Stop making welfare so damned easy, and make it payable for a short time. Instead of from generation to generation. I work at Costco, I have first hand knowledge of what these people are doing. Some of the people using EBT cards even own markets, gas stations, other businesses. wake up California!!!!

    Reply this comment
    • Ophelia e.
      Ophelia e. 21 March, 2015, 19:51

      I worked for 10 years after getting my masters degree. I had a nervous breakdown when I found out my husband was a rapist. I am receiving government aid and going through therapy to get my life back. Thank God for this and programs like it! I am proud to live in a country that cares for It’s people who are facing hard times. Judge not!!

      Reply this comment
  9. Nellie
    Nellie 3 December, 2010, 20:23

    For fifteen years I volunteered in a Mission for the homeless. This program also is for drug and alchol rehab. What I continued too see was people that the government has spent thousand of dollars on programs that don’t work.
    When you have a program that only 1% of the people are getting it right there should be a better way.
    Many people were homeless because that is what they wanted too do with their life. Some of these people have a mental problem with drug abuse or alcohol.
    When they are allowed food stamps that can be used for anything or even money through Social Security Disabity or Welfare. They use this money for drugs or alcohol. These people panhandle for money. Many are prositutes.

    With the drug problems in CA it is a never ending problem that the police have no room in the prisons for these people.

    We need too stop the abuse of the illegals with Welfare and Social Security fraud. The Social workers allow these people too abuse the system.

    Many of the women on Welfare should be holdiing down a job! To me this is just being lazy. They think it is OK for the people working too take care of them. This is our governemnts fault!

    CO. is doing a good job on Welfare fraud and also people that are housing illegals.

    Reply this comment
    • Mike Browne
      Mike Browne 11 February, 2014, 10:34

      Oh please. You can’t buy drugs or alcohol with the supplemental nutrition program, formerly known as food stamps, and I’m pretty sure you never saw such a thing.

      Reply this comment
      • Iamkoolone
        Iamkoolone 10 March, 2017, 23:51

        Lol…guess you haven’t seen that you get .50 cents to the dollar in trade? Yes they do use it to buy drugs! They give their cards to people who give them cash! Obviously you have been sheltered for too long and need to get out into the real world?

        Reply this comment
      • Anthony Love
        Anthony Love 10 January, 2020, 06:27

        Many turn over their EBT money to cash by purchasing food items like Cheese and Coffee and then selling these items for a dollar less than the stores charge. They do this all over San Diego area, especially on the Trolleys where people will walk up and down the isles shouting up deals of cheese and coffee. It’s widespread

        Reply this comment
  10. Deez
    Deez 4 December, 2010, 08:11

    Recently I was in a Costco with a friend, in Orange County, CA. when my friend asked the manager if Costco was ever going to change the rules concerning EBT/Foodstamps. The manager said they already had is now accepting “Foodstamps”. Personally, stores such as grocery stores and costco included I don’t see a problem, I do object to people using the cards to gamble or going to fast food resturants.

    Reply this comment
    • Dadof2
      Dadof2 8 March, 2016, 09:43

      The Restaurant Meals program allows those who are living in a car, on the street, in a shelter without food privileges etc. to be able to provide a hot meal to their families. You have no idea how much that meant to this father of two.

      Reply this comment
  11. HopelessOne
    HopelessOne 6 December, 2010, 10:39

    Won’t this interfere with the First Lady’s initiative to help us all eat healthier?

    Reply this comment
  12. racegirl
    racegirl 6 December, 2010, 11:04

    California welfare system IS BROKEN. I agree…the elderly and vets get screwed and the (mostly)lazy welfare recipients use the money put into the system by the elderly and their families. Grocery stores should be the only place to spend.

    Reply this comment
  13. Chicago Nick
    Chicago Nick 7 December, 2010, 19:55

    Glad to see so many of you residents angry about all that ‘freebie jeebie’ ism going on there. If you folks could turn the tide on your illegals the other states will follow. As for the freeloaders, they’re mostly non Americans and sucking our nation dry from sea to oil filled sea..

    Reply this comment
  14. american patriot
    american patriot 9 December, 2010, 14:36

    Until the residents of CA wake up, and stop allowing the red carpet to be rolled out for all the welfare freeloaders and illegals, this state will never recover. Why not require drug testing? or let them do some kind of work for the state or homeless shelters, something! We should be inspiring them to help themselves! Or maybe the state/libs like it that way, people being weak and dependent on the govt.

    Reply this comment
  15. jds`
    jds` 10 December, 2010, 20:07

    It shaim what leggialtature are doing to this state.

    Reply this comment
  16. chris
    chris 10 February, 2011, 11:07

    I’ve seen abuse all over Los Angeles when it come to the EBT program. I Can’t stand to see non US citizens walking out of stores like food 4 less with 2 full carts of food. I’ve also seen CAshiers in these poor area helping these pople commit fraud buy having them buy something with the ebt card then returning it for its cash value.These large supermarkets make a ton of money from the us. The People who work and get over taxed. We have to apy for every single thing but not these lasy poor uneducated people The Goverment is only making the problem worse. We should stop this programm for anyone under 65 that has no means of supporting themselves. But A 30 year old with 3 kids whose spouse is paid in cash is only here to live off the system. It needs to stop.

    Reply this comment
  17. Lisa5
    Lisa5 22 February, 2011, 17:45

    End assistance for everyone under 65, huh? What about disabled people, hmmmmm? YOU, (OR ANYONE, FOR THAT MATTER!) could become disabled at any time. Has that ever occured to you? People who really can’t work do exist; would you leave them to starve?

    Reply this comment
  18. Laray
    Laray 19 April, 2011, 12:16

    1st off everyone has their own story so everyone shouldnt be so quick so judge my mother just passed away in July2010 and im only19yrs old i have no family besides me an my younger brother an im a student in school and ive also lived in LA all my life so i do feel that im intitled to some type of help. However they should be able to fix the system a lil better where people who havent been here for generations an hasnt had family payin taxs for years, get walfare as easy. But to only offer welfare to the disable an elderly isnt right…im very greatful for welfare However you have to want sumthin out of life (2 each its own) Every1 gotta different story

    Reply this comment
  19. dick coon
    dick coon 11 August, 2011, 14:57

    Costco does except food stamps

    Reply this comment
  20. kari
    kari 13 August, 2011, 23:16

    If a person has no children, is able bodied, and under the age of 65 they are required to participate in community service to receive food stamps. Counties get an emergency waiver if their county has over 10 percent unemployment. Right now this state is at over 10 percent unemployment which means the community service requirement is exempted.

    There is a lot of pain out there right now, many cannot find jobs, and people are applying for general cash aid in record numbers because their unemployment has run out. At the county level they do not have enough work for people to do. If there is no work that they can perform, they have to pay this aid back.

    The people posting above sound extremely ignorant about public assistance, which is very temporary, has work requirements, and is not available for people without children. Food stamps are the only income many people who have run out of unemployment have, and if these people had a job they would be happy.

    Ageism is a part of the problem of long term unemployment. Older people that have been laid off cannot find new jobs, nor can they perform some of the entry level work that is more physical in nature.

    reading this article made me realize the level of ignorance in this country is woeful, and in the case of the author of this article, it is shabbily willful too… if you are going to purport to be a watchdog against government waste, start with defense contractors, hating on the poor and indigent is just tacky, but at the very least have some sort of factual basis to spew about…

    Reply this comment
  21. Anthony
    Anthony 17 November, 2011, 03:14

    Every one needs help it does not matter if they are not from’s Americas fault that they don’t let the people that come here for better lives work and dam when they do work they work harder than any American no matter the pay is.god bless everyone don’t complain just don’t worrie be happy

    Reply this comment
  22. Mark
    Mark 11 December, 2011, 10:34

    I am in complete agreement with @Kari. A for the rest of all of you posting your “speculations” and opinions in what you “think” the CalFresh or the Public assistance programs are about, I advise that you educate yourself first. The Calfresh, and EBT programs are for WORKING families, families that have paid both federal and state taxes year after years after year! I AM ONE of the many who has paid into the federal and state level taxes for numerous years but unfortunately without warning have become disabled by Multiple Sclerosis, and I am only 33 years old and have 3 young children that I am still raising.

    Currently due to all the fraud, obtaining EBT benefits and even SSDI benefits has become virtually a 3 ring circus especially for those of us who have paid into the system, who are legitimately in need of the assistance. I have walked into the Welfare centers and have had everything but a hair strand taken from me for DNA testing to in order to be able to get assistance from the government….THE SAME government and programs that I and ALL OF MY FAMILY have been working lifetimes to pay into. There is absolutely no shame or embarrassment in needing this type of help, especially when it is due to becoming physically disabled and rendered unable to continue to work in any capacity. So because I am disabled and in the process of basically pulling teeth to obtain legimate SSDI, me and my children should starve is what youre saying then?

    And I can pretty much guarantee the ignorant ones making the statements putting down these programs fit into 1 of 2 catagories of people….1. They themselves have probably never had a consistent job or employment, have very little education as their foundation, and are making just above minimum wage for working strenuous hours of physical labor at jobs that they probably cannot stand or 2. Part of the 1-2% of this country that are living off the backs off the rest of everyone else and have more money than should be legal, and feel the need to be able to hold onto every single cent that they have so that it can go toward themselves or their own families, friends, etc…The thing about excessive amounts of money, is that in time, once one has it, they sadly lose their sense of humanity and begin to disconnect from the reality of the way things need to work in a cohesive society. Basically, the “haves” in this country want and feel hey deserve more, while the “have nots” continue to bear the weight and burden of being without while still making it possible for the 1-2% to stay up on their pedestals…

    BUT…keep doing things the way theyre being done, irradicate the hard working middle class in this country as it is being done, and we will all watch as those pedestals crumble and begin to fall…and remember, the same ones your looked down on while at the top, will be the same ones staring you dead in the face when you come crashing down…hope you can still afford body guards!

    Reply this comment
    • Boetica
      Boetica 29 September, 2014, 20:34

      You had my sympathy until you started with your 1% garbage. If you think income should have legal limits you should move to one of those [email protected] like Cuba or Venezuela. You are doing the same thing that you are berating others for. Just how much of another’s income do you think you are entitled to? You don’t know anything about “the 1%”, who finance a lot of charity and medical research that just might make your life more manageable.

      Reply this comment
    • David M
      David M 25 December, 2015, 15:19

      Fuck yeah

      Reply this comment
  23. Nikki
    Nikki 20 December, 2011, 13:23

    Some of us can’t find jobs, are not prostitutes, drug addicts or alcoholics. My boyfriend and I have worked for most of our lives. Right now we can’t find a job. We are both intelligent and educated and able bodied. His unemployment just ran out. We are both 47. We have been going to food pantries for the past few months and using cash for rent. Thank god for the food stamp program which we just applied for and are receiving benefits today. All of you who are judging do it because it makes you feel superior. We are all in this boat together. Pray to god you will never be in the situation where you might NEED food stamps to survive.

    Reply this comment
    • Boetica
      Boetica 29 September, 2014, 20:36

      Did you vote for Obama? You can thank him and his minions in the Congress for the jobless situation.

      Reply this comment
  24. mamazee
    mamazee 18 January, 2012, 09:09

    I agree with Nikki & Mark…not every one on welfare/food stamps is there because they want to be. A majority of the recipients are able bodied workers who either dont make enough to feed,clothe & provide a roof for their families have NO other option. Another misconception is that you can pop babies out & stay on it…FYI YOU CAN’T! When you are initially screened(fingerprinted with a sheriffs dept employee) how ever many people you have on your application is the family amount & will stay the family amount until you transition off of it & reapply after the newborn is ONE YEARs old. Also,you can not received benefits unless you are a LEGAL resident(US citizen or resident alien/have a green card) of the US. If you have a green card, you have to have been in the country for FIVE years & worked & earned a certain amount before applying & receiving benefits. As an adult, you have a 5 year time limit of being on CalWorks unless you are disabled or elderly & its waived. If you’re on CalWorks & not working, you have to participate in a job training type of program for 32 hours a week at least. If you dont, your benefits immediately. Dont think they are all just sitting around doing nothing but popping out babies. How ignorant could you people be? I am in no way against drug testing for recipients but look at the facts & program requirements before commenting & looking like an idiot.

    Reply this comment
  25. aj
    aj 29 January, 2012, 18:05

    i totally agree with mamazee !

    Reply this comment
  26. Rock
    Rock 10 February, 2012, 23:13

    I’ve spent 40 years paying into the system. In the last 3 years I lost my business (CA taxes, insurance cost, workman’s comp, economy, etc)and my house. Because I was a business owner, now I’m forced to find employment with those that were my compitition for over 30 years. We didn’t have the best relationship then, we don’t now. I can not find a permanent, full-time job. I’m either over qualified, under qualified, or too old. I can get part time at 10 dollars an hour, a far cry from the 100.00+ materials that I made. And not that I’m not happy to do this, it just isn’t enough. One of the few saving graces is the food stamps program. It allows me to not only eat but the funds that would have went to food now can go to clothing, insurance, and other bills. The money has stopped, the bills haven’t. Yet when I use EBT I am made feel like I bottom feeder, I have to listen to all the negitive comments and derogitory remarks, and I have to somehow justify my needs to those that have no business opening their mouths. Just tonight, while food shopping, I actually splurged (I normally don’t) and bought myself a small bag of stale, pre-popped pop-corn. It came with a stern scolding from the girl at the register, that she wasn’t paying for me to eat pop-corn. To her and all the others like her, all I have to say is I payed into the system for over 40 years, and while I hate that fact that it’s come to this, it has. I need it, I’ve payed for it, and I’ve earned it. Until I can get back on my feet again or die trying, in the immortal words of Bart Simson…BITE ME!

    Reply this comment
  27. Flore
    Flore 21 February, 2012, 10:12

    does any body have a list of costco stores accepting ebt?

    Reply this comment
  28. Bob H.
    Bob H. 3 April, 2012, 00:39

    I work at Costco, and have for 20 years. Costco accepts EBT cards nationwide. This is a great opportunity for those whom use EBT to stretch their budget further since Costco has much better prices than grocery stores. Only very rare exceptions can any grocery store beat the prices at Costco.

    25 lbs. large russet potatoes for $6, 25 lbs. bag of rice for $10, 50 lb bag of rice for $15, 10 lbs. organic carrots for $3, 6 large romaine lettuce hearts for $2, large salad mix for $2, organic quoinoa for $9.50, 3-5 lbs. of bananas for $1.50, 36 dinner rolls baked fresh from scratch in the bakery for $3-4, a dozen Noah’s Bagels baked in the bakery exactly like Noah’s for one fifth the cost of Noah’s, by far the best quality meat in America as reported in Consumer Reports many times over, extremely low prices on special marked down food items like 8 cans of Bush’s baked beans for $2, CFL light bulbs are very often $0.25 each (8 pack), excellent quality powdered laundry detergent for pennies per load (one third the cost of Tide), same with dishwasher detergent, and hundreds of other outstanding deals on basic necessities that people use every day.

    EBT is not just for food. Depending on the assistance that the person receives, s/he can also purchase non-food items. Employees at Costco treat Members whom use EBT cards with the same respect and courtesy that every Member receives. We are happy to serve all of our Members and we do not pass judgement on them. We are not there to argue with, share our personal opinions with, or match wits with the Members. If on the rare chance a Costco Employee is rude to a Member, you have every right (and duty to us all) to report the situation to a Manager. Rudeness to a Member is literally a termination offense at Costco, and we take it very seriously. Though some Members can be a little challenging at times, we love all of our Members wether they are billionaires or using EBT cards!

    Most of us need a little help in some way now and again throughout this roller coaster of life. Please be respectful to others by default. You really do not know their situation unless you have been in their shoes! Caulous and ignorant comments insulting our fellow neighbors does great harm to our society as a whole. If you have never needed help, be very thankful. Maybe try befriending someone in need to see their challenges in life. You might find that your eyes will open to another world! You might also help them to see your world!

    Bob : )

    Reply this comment
    EBT MOTHER 10 June, 2012, 11:42

    OMG…PRAISE GOD!!! I agree with everything Kary said, about time someone with some type of WELFARE KNOWLEDGE. As a currently homeless mother of 3 girls, I am horribly saddened by these ignorant comments and story from this site. First, I am not on welfare because I am LAZY. I was employed and held a high position until the company laid us ALL OFF. I was pregnant at this time, my “HONORABLE” EMPLOYERS PROMISED I WOULD HAVE MY JOB, BUT THEY LIED. I lived off of unemployment while taking care of a newborn and recovering from surgery. Since then I have been looking for work which is stressful without a stable home. WE were evicted so now with this record I cant rent a place for 7years. So because me and my children move from place to place very often we have trouble eating hot meals, because of the CalFresh program it makes life for me and my kids more meaningful, just the satisfaction of eating at a table together with HOT FOOD. I must say I do wish more healthier/family friendly restaurants were in this program. I cant buy nutritious hot food from VONS OR RALPHS or any grocery store, this bothers me because the food is healthier. But also I would like to clarify that its not MUCH MONEY OR FOOD given out most of the time. I myself receive approx. 480 for food, this breaks down to $4 per day for each of us. Adults can only receive aid up to 5 years, lifetime. And for cash I receive approx. 600, not enough for rent anywhere safe in southern california.(if u kno somewhere let me know) Also I do agree that the system is being misused by many people, however the numbers of NEEDY people completely out way the frauds. Why would you people want to allow the wrong doing of some predict the lively hood of the majority who NEED?? Being on welfare is not the best thing either, you get treated like crap mostly and it is very humiliating and shameful to have to ask somebody for necessities, I pray and I know that this is NOT the MERCY THAT CHRIST gave to US so why do we give these to EACHOTHER??

    To my dismay I am having major complications in my field because I am NOT BILINGUAL nor do I hold any degrees which has NOW become the new REQUIREMENT. I held my last job for so long that now I have become UNQUALIFIED because the bar has changed. So for me, I use the time that I am on welfare and all your negative energy as positive motivation to complete my goals to getting our life back together again. Please understand that life has ups and downs, don’t judge someones downs until you’ve walked that same path. Until the day you sit across that thick Glass window begging someone for a pinch of life that they have control over and they look back at you with disgust on their face. Maybe what you should be talking about is all of the GREEDY AND DISLOYAL CORPORATIONS sucking the air, life and joy out of millions of people and then just leaving them penniless and starving, having to depend on WELFARE…SMH

    Reply this comment
    EBT MOTHER 10 June, 2012, 11:51

    OK last thing… THANKS A BUNCH BOB!!! Our food can never last for the entire month but because of you I will be on my way to COSTCOs. This is the service and caring compassion this world NEEDS. Thank you and people like you/us. Without GOOD in this place there will be NO LOVE and without LOVE is NO LIFE. YAHWAH

    Reply this comment
  31. Toni Sevchuk
    Toni Sevchuk 28 September, 2012, 10:48

    Some of you are exstremely ignorant and others more informative than expected. First off, CalFresh and Calworks recipts can not collect “more” money if they have more children. The county mandates that the mother or father signs a contract stating if they have more babies their Calworks will not go up. Calworks has been “reformed” years ago and now they have about one year or less to get a job and/or training to help them get a job or again–they are cut off the program. There are many on CalFresh and Calworks who are EMPLOYED. They are the working poor! There are many one these programs that are disabled and can not work or it is very difficult for them to find work becuase of their disability. Just rubbing the surface here. I do agree that as a USa citizen we shouyld first take care of the poor, elderly & disabled in our own backyard before we help those in other backyards-that is an outrage-but take it up with our Government not hate the people. After all whoi can blame them for taking advantage of such a generous Country when their own Country is less than?

    Reply this comment
  32. D M
    D M 7 October, 2012, 13:20

    FYI, An EBT card is given to anyone getting cash aid and or food stamps via CALWorks or General Relief (GR). An EBT card can ONLY be used at a fast food restaurant when their food stamp are issued to them as being homeless.

    My complaint about the EBT card is that an EBT card pin number is NOT protected the same way an AMT card or credit card pin number is. When my wallet was stolen with my EBT card, driver’s licence and social security card…. in it, some thief whom clearly already knew that they could check the balance on my EBT and change my pin number right over the phone instantly by calling the EBT customer service #, which is an automated system and with a SS# and date of birth, any caller with that information can change the pin number. Oh and guess who has the contract that operates EBT cards, J.P. Morgan! (aka Chase Bank….).

    A pin number associated to an ATM debit card and or credit card from anything J.P. Morgan owns can not EVER be changed over the phone. Either you got to go to the bank or a new pin number will be mailed to the account address. In fact that’s how all banks and all credit cards work. Its all done this way to prevent fraud. An EBT pin number should be protected the same way because when your cash or food stamps are auth orized via a pin number, they are gone. And what I had to do afterwards was another whole other issue.

    What I did learn from that was this, never carry your ss# or your SS card with you. Leaveit at home. When you do need it don’t put it in your wallet.

    Reply this comment
  33. eva
    eva 9 October, 2012, 10:19

    Just want to let you know,i recieve aid and surprise, i do work. What i do recieve is actually very helpful. I stay in a shelter with my 20 month old baby. A place I do not cook or even have access to a microwave (not that that’s real healthy). I get up early in the morning and stop to buy her breakfast and snacks for daycare, come back to the same area i stay in because at my job I help homeless individuals get housing, go to doctors appointments,find clothes, shelters and places to shower. I then, go pick up my baby go eat dinner and play at the park or go for a walk.I do not like to be or have my child in the shelter more than necessary. I have a great job and i am no different than anybody else who has commented here,I just need a little help from time to time. Trust me, I will not take more than I need. One of the greatest satisfactions for me is to know I do work (full time).

    Reply this comment
  34. Chris cullen
    Chris cullen 12 November, 2012, 17:16

    I agree there are those who need the bet card and rightly so. But when I go into the salon to get my hair done and the person next to me is paying for a pedicure with her EBT card, then yes this pisses me off. The person using the card should be kicked off the program. The salon owner h
    Who accept the card for payment should be charged with fraud. This is why our system is failing. We have those who wish to steal and cheat making it harder for those who truly need assistance.

    Reply this comment
  35. Daryl
    Daryl 12 November, 2012, 18:08

    I love all the self-righteous and heartless Americans posting here. My grandparents would be ashamed to see how low this country has become.

    I’m on foodstamps. The company that I was working for went out of business. No warning. Found myself unemployed and broke. Lost my apartment the next month. Lost everything. The only thing that keeps me honest is that I have no criminal record.

    I’ll be happy to pay back any assistance I get, if I can ever get another job. For every job opening, HUNDREDS of people apply. People’s chances of getting a job are less than one percent.

    For all you jerks posting here, you better hope you don’t lose your job, because your chances of getting another one is extremely low, and the chance of you becoming homeless is extremely high. And when that happens, well, the other jerks like you will start kicking you in the teeth, calling you a loser, and spit on you. In your case, you will deserve it.

    Reply this comment
    • Notakardasian
      Notakardasian 13 October, 2015, 12:33

      Oh boo hoo hoo ever hear of GO GET A JOB? I blame your parents for not teaching you to take care of yourself and STOP MOOCHING off the system. Man what a loser!

      Reply this comment
      • Smiley
        Smiley 3 June, 2018, 11:46

        Man you are truly a piece of shit get a life where you are not being a cyberbully you cunt! You earned that comment you dumb ass!!!!!!!

        Reply this comment
  36. john Jeremiah conroy
    john Jeremiah conroy 24 November, 2012, 15:11

    I feel people need to stop judging criticizing and stop stereo typing the homeless and unemployed.people dont realize what each individuals situation is its easier to judge and criticize.others if you are not homeless or unemployed.when it comes to hard reality when your at the other stick of the end heing homeless and unemployed and having no .family to go to you think twice
    I feel ebt cards should be used for restaurants and hot foods period!!!! Everyone needs help! Shame one those who are harsh demeaning and judgmental on others

    Reply this comment
  37. Frank n
    Frank n 17 January, 2013, 18:34

    people pay taxes,weather your rich or poor. the people using the program paid for that program. did you know the government spent 2 million on the research cow burps? or how about $900,000.researching monkey poop! yup.that’s real government spending..least people are getting fed,do you want more beggars in the street? or crime? it supports local business! plus you have to wait 7 hours in line to even get the benefits,how about all the people who waste their money on overly priced crap,we should blame them for creating inflation!!!

    Reply this comment
  38. noe
    noe 10 February, 2013, 12:54

    Costco does take food stamp / ebt

    Reply this comment
  39. Yasmin
    Yasmin 15 February, 2013, 08:47

    I am not sure where you are from but the Costco in Oxnard,Ca accepts food stamps.

    Reply this comment
  40. tracie
    tracie 27 August, 2013, 06:04

    first off, who cares where people are spending their gov assistance at? who is anyone to clmplain when it isnt anyones business nor does anyone know the facts! the fact that a person is on gov assistance shuld make it clear that the cruise or hawaii vacation was paid for by somebody else. DUH. so who cares if they bought food with their ebt card while on vacation with family? i wuld too since a gallon of milk there cost $8.99!

    In fact, i was a snap recipient at the time i won 4 handpays at the casinos, together totaled $7,000. but i only recieved food stamps on my ebt card.. sooo once again it shuld b clear that I WAS PLAYING WITH MONEY SOMEONE GAVE TO ME. duh again.
    However, there is plenty of fraud going on. yes, it is true. for those who also get cash aid with food, will go pull out money from an ATM and drive right fo the casino with it. theres people out there getging money for 6 kids they dont even have! And although a person is a gov assisgance recipient of some sort, not everyone qualifies to receive cash aid, like myself for example. And although i have some help with food, i still struvgle and have a hard time when it comes to non food items which most are neccessities. Like hygeine products, femenin productz and cleaning products for the home. However, i cant beleive that the worlds domestic animals are not considered about which im sure only adds to the problem that every state and counyy has with our over populated animal shelters/pounds. And buying dog food for 2 large breed dogs sometimes isnt possible and theyhave gone up to 7 days before getting a bowl of food often times. It is unreasonable to not consider pets. is it not true that most people consider their pets as part of their family? and it should be known to government entities who regulate these programs, that most households have a pet andthese pets were parf of the household before there were any financiL hardships. pets should b considered more. thats all. and i think that about clears things up

    Reply this comment
  41. Luna
    Luna 13 September, 2014, 15:47

    I am a California resident. Lived here most all my life. Born here..I lied about my age just so I could start working when I was 15. I loved working.was a hard worker. Then I found out I had severe back problems. I could no longer do the work I was doing. I plan on going to school to find a career I can physically do. But I need back surgery first. in the mean time I have had to go on food stamps for myself and my son. His father is having surgery and isn’t working right now after being hurt at work. Sometimes things we didn’t expect to happen just happen. And we need help. I don’t agree with the people that use the system the wrong way and give us all a bad name.but we arent all the same. I have seen the restaurants in San Francisco that accept EBT. It makes sense for the people that cannot cook and prepare food for whatever reason.

    Reply this comment
  42. EBT Card Cover
    EBT Card Cover 1 October, 2015, 01:46

    There is a way to preserve your dignity when using your EBT card at local retailers., The blog offers EBT news, tips, low cost recipes, and coupons for those in need. Hats off to California for caring about their citizens in need and the participating companies that can prepare a meal for the hungry who are without the means to prepare a warm meal for themselves.

    Reply this comment
  43. smarter then you
    smarter then you 22 October, 2015, 18:11

    This article is inaccurate Costco accepts ebt i shop there all the time so this whole article needs to be reevaluated

    Reply this comment
    • Cowboy
      Cowboy 13 December, 2017, 22:36

      Your so smart you don’t need to bother with grammar, do you?

      Illiterate moron.

      Reply this comment
  44. Xanthe
    Xanthe 9 May, 2016, 08:58

    I beg to differ… addicts buy drugs with their food stamps by selling them $.50 on the dollar to some retailers. I’m also aware of some dealers who will borrow an EBT card to purchase groceries in exchange for drugs. Some retailers will even give cash for WIC benefits meant for children under five to provide for milk and formula. Never underestimate a drug addict’s ability to find a loophole in any monetary compensation and a greedy retailer to provide one. The system may be broken, but thank God it’s available to insure fewer children go hungry. The problem isn’t welfare abuse, the problem is too many people living in poverty. The solution will never be to allow a child to go hungry, but in providing more opportunities for families to elevate their standard of living.

    Reply this comment
  45. Jonelle Noorani
    Jonelle Noorani 3 April, 2017, 22:26

    naturally like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will surely come back again.

    Reply this comment
  46. Rpw
    Rpw 6 November, 2017, 20:59

    First of all is it were not for our government taking care of people for whatever reason we would have dead people dead in the streets from starvation. Robbery, theft and murder would increase. The church and more fortunate people should help less fortunate but its not happening enough.

    Reply this comment
  47. Cowboys
    Cowboys 13 December, 2017, 22:33

    INSANE. What about the dignity of MY paycheck being used for their welfare? Great! Go to KFC, etc. ,and eat up my paycheck for your free MEDICAL care you fat, lazy, entitled, idiot morons. Starve to death for all I care–or die in the ER.

    Reply this comment
    • Smiley
      Smiley 3 June, 2018, 11:52

      You fucken retard get off this site you dumb Fuck, your comments are to lame for my viewing!!!!!

      Reply this comment
  48. Leftyjack2009
    Leftyjack2009 5 September, 2018, 20:14

    I don’t think they should just limit the restraunt program to just specific groups of people. I think it be for all eligible food stamp recipients regardless of thier physical abilities.

    Reply this comment

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