How to Buy Groceries Online with California EBT
This post is about how to buy groceries online with California EBT Card. In case you are not aware, California SNAP EBT recipients can now use their EBT cards to purchase groceries online through Walmart and Amazon.
The state of California was recently approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to start a pilot program to allow food stamps to be used online.
As a result, The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) recently launched the program statewide, allowing food stamps benefits to be used online at Walmart and Amazon for delivery and pick-up.
This was done to reduce the risk of SNAP EBT cardholders from getting the Coronavirus by reducing grocery store visits.
In this post, we will walk you through how the program is going to work and how you can buy groceries online with California EBT cards.
We will also cover:
- EBT Online Purchasing Pilot Program
- California’s EBT Online Program
- How to Buy Groceries Online with California EBT
- California EBT Card FAQs
To learn more about the California EBT online grocery purchase program, continue reading below.
EBT Online Purchasing Pilot Program
In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a pilot program for online EBT purchases. The program allows EBT Cardholders to purchase groceries online for delivery or pick-up.
When the program was initially launched, the following states were approved to participate:
In addition, the following grocery stores were included as part of the initial pilot program:
- Hy-Vee, Inc.
- Hart’s Local Grocers
- Dash’s Market
EBT Online Pilot Rollout
The first state to actually launch an online EBT program was New York, starting in 2019.
Since New York launched its program, more states have followed.
As of April 2020, all states but Maryland and New Jersey have implemented their online EBT programs.
Here is a list of all the states that have implemented the only SNAP EBT grocery online program and the grocery stores they are working with.
More States Have Been Added
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states, including California have petitioned the USDA to be added to the pilot program to allow SNAP recipients the option to shop online with their EBT cards for delivery or pickup.
California’s EBT Online Program
According to an April 15, 2020 press release from the California Department of Social Services(CDSS), individuals and families can purchase groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and Walmart starting on April 28, 2020.
If you receive CalWORKs, you may also be able to use your cash benefits to make purchases online at Wal-Mart.
California expedited the implementation of EBT online purchasing in response to COVID-19. The state is actively working to expand the number of stores that accept EBT online in the future.
A number of local news organizations have carried the announcement about EBT online purchase for California SNAP EBT cardholders, including the tweet below from FOX26 News in Bakersfield, California.
People who receive CalFresh benefits will be able to purchase groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and Walmart. https://t.co/AuDkDK1RC0
— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) April 24, 2020
Other changes made to California’s SNAP Program (Calfresh)
In addition, there are other changes that have been made at the Federal level to help California EBT Cardholders during this time of need.
If your California food stamps are about to expire or expired in March or April, there’s good news. You do not have to do anything to renew your benefits.
Due to COVID-19, the USDA is extending all food stamps recertification periods by an additional 6-months for those due to renew their benefits in March, April, and May.
This means that if your benefits are expiring between March and May 2020, you will continue to receive your food stamps benefits for an additional 6 months before you have to renew.
In addition, all California food stamp recipients are going to receive the maximum benefit amount for there household size for March and April.
To find out the maximum benefit amount for your household size, please refer to the chart below.
|People in Household||Maximum Monthly Allotment|
|Each additional person||+$146|
More information can be found in this news report.
How to Buy Groceries Online with California EBT
Here’s how to buy groceries online for delivery or pickup with Walmart and Amazon.com.
How to Buy Walmart Groceries Online with California EBT Card
Currently, Walmart only offers online grocery purchases with EBT for pick-up and not for delivery.
If you have a California EBT Card, you will now be able to use your cards to buy groceries and select curbside pick-up.
You can only use your EBT card to buy eligible grocery items and you cannot use your food stamps dollars to pay for delivery.
Step 1 – Go to the Walmart Grocery website
The first step to purchasing groceries online at Walmart is to go to the Walmart Grocery website at www.grocery.walmart.com.
Step 2 – Find Walmart Store Near You
Next, enter your zip code to find the Walmart store location near you. This is the location you will pick-up your online grocery order from.
Step 3 – Shop for Groceries Online
Once you have selected your Walmart location, begin shopping for grocery items online. Add EBT eligible items to your shopping cart.
You will be asked to sign in to your Walmart Account or Create an Account once you place an item in your shopping cart.
Proceed to sign in to your Walmart account if you have one or create a new account. Once you have successfully signed in, you can continue adding items to your cart.
Step 4 – Checkout and Choose Delivery Option
Next, click the “Checkout” button. There is a $30 minimum for Walmart online grocery shopping. You will not be able to proceed to checkout until you reach this limit.
Once you hit the checkout button, you will be taken to a page where you can “Reserve a time” for pickup.
You will be provided available times when you can pick up your order. Select a pickup time that is convenient for you as shown in the image below.
Step 5 – Checkout with your EBT Card
Next, you will be taken to the payment page where you will select EBT card option for pickup as shown below.
Step 6 – Enter your Phone Number and Place Your Order
The final step is to enter your phone number, review your order to make sure everything looks good, then click on the “Place Order” button to complete your order as shown below.
Step 7 – Pick up and Pay with EBT Card
The final step in the process is to pick up your order and pay for it with your Calfresh EBT Card. You need to bring your EBT card with you when you pick up your order at the Walmart location you selected.
Be sure to follow the pick-up instructions included in the text or email instructions.
Designated Pick-up Locations
Some Walmart locations now have designated pickup locations, as shown above.
When you arrive at the pickup location, you will park in a reserved parking space marked in orange for Grocery Pickup customers.
Once in the spot, call the designated number to alerts an associate of your arrival.
You can also check-in through the Walmart Grocery app. An associate will quickly retrieve the prepared order and load it into your car.
The Walmart Associate will know that you are an EBT customer and will swipe your EBT card to pay for those items that are EBT-eligible.
For any items that are not EBT-eligible, the Associate will then take payment with another credit/debit card.
You will be required to enter your EBT pin to complete the pickup process.
How to Buy Amazon Groceries Online with California EBT Card
EBT cardholders in California can now use their SNAP benefits to shop and purchase food online on Amazon for delivery.
How it Works
To shop online for groceries with your California EBT card, follow the instructions below.
Step 1 – Login your Amazon account
If you do not have an Amazon account, click on the “Create your Amazon account” as shown in the screenshot below.
Once you have created your account, proceed by entering your email and password to sign-in.
Step 2 – Add your California EBT Card
Once logged in, enter your Calfresh food stamps card to your Amazon account here. Type in your complete SNAP EBT card number and submit.
Next, enter your delivery zip code. This will tell you whether or not your zip code is eligible for delivery on purchases using your California EBT card.
Click the “Add your SNAP EBT Card” button, as shown in the screenshot below.
Step 3 – Shop for Amazon Groceries Online
Step 4 – Enter your PIN to Checkout
When you are done shopping and are ready to checkout, proceed as usual. At checkout select “EBT” as payment. After that, enter your 4-digit PIN for your California EBT Card to place your order.
For help, see our screenshot below.
Please note, you cannot use your food stamp benefits or EBT Card to pay for shipping or delivery fees. If you do not have Amazon Prime and would like free delivery, be sure to meet the free shipping minimums for each program.
Get Amazon Prime Discount for EBT Cardholders
Did you know you can also shop online on Amazon for essential home items with your EBT card through Amazon Prime?
Here’s some GREAT NEWS!!
If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you can sign up with your EBT Card and get 50% OFF a membership. To learn how to sign up, continue reading below.
Discounted Amazon Prime Membership
As a California EBT Cardholder, you can get over 50% OFF Amazon Prime when you sign up with your EBT Card. With the Amazon Prime EBT discount, you can get all the great benefits of Prime at a fraction of the cost.
For just $5.99 per month you get all these EBT Amazon Prime benefits:
- One-Day FREE Shipping on millions of eligible Amazon items
- Two-Day FREE Shipping on millions of eligible Amazon items
- Access to instantly stream thousands of FREE Movies & TV Shows
- Access to Unlimited FREE Prime Music streaming
- FREE 2-Hour Delivery on Prime Now items
To learn more about the Amazon Prime EBT Discount and the benefits and perks you get with Amazon Prime membership, click here.
Buying Groceries Online with California EBT FAQs
Here is a list of our most frequently asked about how to buy groceries online with California EBT on Amazon and Walmart.
Can I make changes to my Walmart online grocery order?
Yes. Changes to your online grocery order can be made at any point before your cutoff time. After the cutoff time, your order will be submitted to the store so they can begin picking your order.
Unfortunately, changes cannot be made after your cutoff time.
If you would like to change your order, sign in, click Your Account, and then Recent Orders.
- To update your pickup or delivery timeslot, click Change Time.
- If you would like to increase, decrease, or remove items or to update your substitution preferences, click Edit Items.
- To add more items to your order, click Keep Shopping, add items to your cart, and complete checkout. Your bank statement will reflect a second authorization amount which may vary depending on the item weight and/or type.
Can I pay using multiple forms of payment?
Yes. You can pay for your order using your EBT card and another form of payment at pickup.
If you ordered non-SNAP eligible items, the Walmart associate at the pick-up location will swipe your EBT Card for EBT-eligible items. You can then provide another form of payment (credit, debit card, etc.) for items that are not on the EBT approved list.
However, you can only use one SNAP EBT card per order.
Do I need to have Amazon Prime Membership to use my FL EBT on Amazon?
No. Shopping with a valid CA, AL, FL, IA, NE, NY, OR, or WA-issued SNAP EBT card allows you to access Amazon Fresh without Amazon Prime.
However, order minimums still apply to Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry to receive free shipping.
What items are eligible for purchase with California SNAP EBT Card on Amazon?
California SNAP EBT funds can only be used for SNAP-eligible food items that are shipped and sold by Amazon.com.
You can identify which items on Amazon are eligible for purchase with SNAP by looking for the “SNAP EBT eligible” label near the product name.
Can I buy non-SNAP eligible items with an alternative form of payment?
Yes, you can buy non-SNAP-eligible items (or SNAP-eligible items) with other forms of payment.
Simply add an additional payment method, such as a gift card, credit card, or debit card, at checkout.
Customers can also add cash to their Amazon Balance at any participating Amazon Cash location. Visit Amazon Cash.
California EBT FAQs
Will more grocery stores be added to the list from the pilot?
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), which is in charge of running the pilot program plans to add more grocery stores to the online list in the coming months.
How do I check my California EBT Card balance?
You can check your California balance online, in-person, or by phone. To complete your California EBT Card balance check, please call 1-877-328-9677 or visit the California ebt.ca.gov website.
Can I have someone else help shop with my EBT Card?
Ask your local county food stamps caseworker about setting up an Authorized Representative (AR). The AR will have a separate card with his or her own account number and PIN. The AR will have access to your entire EBT benefit account.
When are my California EBT benefits deposited into my account?
In the state of California, Food Stamps Benefits are deposited on EBT Cards over the first 10 days of every month. When your food stamps benefit is deposited on your EBT Card depends on the last digit of your case number.
Here is the schedule of payment based on the last digit of your case number:
|If your Case Number ends in||Benefits are deposited on the|
|1||1st of the month|
|2||2nd of the month|
|3||3rd of the month|
|4||4th of the month|
|5||5th of the month|
|6||6th of the month|
|7||7th of the month|
|8||8th of the month|
|9||9th of the month|
|0||10th of the month|
Buy Groceries Online with California EBT Summary
We hope this post on how to buy groceries online with California EBT Card was helpful to you.
If you have additional questions or need help using your Calfresh EBT Card, leave those in the comments section below.