CSAC Bulletin Article

Implementation of Online Purchasing for CalFresh Benefits

April 16, 2020

This week, The US Department of Agriculture recently approved California’s request to provide online purchasing of food for CalFresh households and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued implementation guidance. California submitted this request in response to COVID-19 and the need to provide additional options for CalFresh households to purchase groceries given the stay at home orders and social distancing requirements. This online purchasing capability will be available for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders beginning on April 28.

Given the emergency situation, California will be moving forward with utilizing two retailers, Amazon and Walmart, that are already approved at the federal level and partner on this program in other states. CDSS has also created an EBT Online website with materials, and encourages counties to display these materials and post information about EBT online purchasing on websites and social media.

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