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DPSS CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program Benefiting Local Economy While Serving Los Angeles County’s Senior and Most Vulnerable Populations

May CalFresh Awareness Month is the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits and services provided through the CalFresh Nutrition Program.  One of this month’s highlighted services is the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP).

Established in 2005, the RMP allows residents age 60 or older, people with disabilities, and homeless persons in Los Angeles County the option to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase healthy and nutritious meals at approved restaurants participating in the program.

Restaurants must apply and be approved by United States Department of Agriculture-Food Nutrition Services (USDA-FNS) to participate.  Once approved, they are authorized to accept CalFresh Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards as payment. 

Benefiting the local economy

Currently, participating restaurants in 15 California counties are benefiting economically as a result of the program.  In Los Angeles County, RMP is responsible for over 50.3 million individual CalFresh transactions and $557 million in sales since the inception of the program in 2005. 

More recently, Los Angeles County reported 5.1 million CalFresh RMP transactions at restaurants with $74.6 million in sales from April 2020 to March 2021.  The average number of transactions per restaurant was 440, and the average amount per transaction was $15.26.

During this month, DPSS is also encouraging the public to share this important information with those in their community who need it most. 

For more information, visit the Restaurant Meals Program page.