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Does FoodMaxx Take EBT?

FoodMaxx is one of the brands under which the Save Mart Companies conducts its retail operations in California. It is a chain of more than 50 no-frills, warehouse-style grocery stores which serve communities throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley. Since its establishment in 1986, FoodMaxx has been committed to maximizing savings for its customers. It offers the best everyday deals on groceries, from staples to prominent brands and locally sourced products. 

For Californians on a limited budget, FoodMaxx is a fantastic option to enhance their shopping power and save money on groceries. In this post, you will learn all you need to know about using CalFresh EBT ( or food stamps) at FoodMaxx in California. 

Does FoodMaxx take EBT in California?

Yes, all FoodMaxx grocery stores throughout California accept electronic benefits transfer (EBT) payments for in-store and online purchases. It implies that all Californians who receive food assistance through the CalFresh (or SNAP) program can use their EBT food benefits to purchase groceries. However, you can only buy USDA-approved nutritional food items with your CalFresh benefits.

FoodMaxx is a subsidiary of The Save Mart Companies (TSMC), an American grocery store operator with locations throughout California and Northern Nevada. Other labels under TSMC include Save Mart, Lucky California, Lucky, and MaxxValue Foods. All TMSC stores, including all FoodMaxx locations, are authorized to accept CalFresh EBT by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As a USDA-approved CalFresh retailer, FoodMaxx complies with all applicable federal rules regarding what can be purchased with EBT food benefits in its stores. CalFresh recipients can only buy eligible items, for instance, fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked products, and non-alcoholic beverages, with an EBT card at FoodMaxx stores. Furthermore, they cannot use their CalFresh benefits to purchase ineligible items, for instance, hot foods, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products, at a FoodMaxx store.

What Can You Buy With Your EBT Card At FoodMaxx?

What Can You Buy With Your EBT Card At FoodMaxx?

The CalFresh Program helps eligible people and families meet their nutritional needs, which subsequently improves their health and overall well-being. The monthly food benefits issued under the program can be used to buy most food items with a nutrition facts label at many markets and grocery stores.

The following is a detailed list of various CalFresh-eligible food items that you can purchase at FoodMaxx using your CalFresh benefits: 

  • Milk and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt
  • Eggs and poultry products
  • Bread, cereal, and granola bars
  • Packed or frozen breakfast 
  • Fresh, frozen, and canned fruit 
  • Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetable
  • Grains, Beans, and Rice
  • Meat, beef, and seafood
  • Packed, ready-to-cook meals
  • Packed and uncooked pasta 
  • Frozen meals and snacks
  • Bakery desserts such as cakes, pies, cookies, muffins
  • Packed snacks, chocolates, and candy
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Dressing, oils, and vinegar
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Juices and shakes
  • Packed and bottled tea and coffee 
  • Soda, soft drinks, energy drinks, and other non-alcoholic drinks
  • Drink mixes or flavor enhancers
  • Ice-cream and popsicles
  • Water, sparkling water, and ice

What Can You Not Buy With Your EBT Card At FoodMaxx?

What Can You Not Buy With Your EBT Card At FoodMaxx

CalFresh EBT typically only covers the cost of essential food items due to USDA restrictions. These limitations have been imposed to prevent CalFresh recipients from spending their food benefits on unnecessary indulgences.

Not every product sold at a FoodMaxx grocery store is eligible for CalFresh benefits. Identifying which products are ineligible for CalFresh will help you to organize your purchases and plan a backup payment method if necessary. Here is a list of FoodMaxx products that do not qualify for CalFresh:

  • Hot and prepared meals
  • Beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic drinks
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Medicines, vitamins, and other dietary supplements
  • Household and everyday supplies
  • Cleaning tools and supplies
  • Cosmetics and other personal care products
  • Baby care products such as formula, baby food, diapers, and bath products
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Kitchen utensils and supplies
  • Cookware and tableware
  • Party and gift supplies
  • Office and craft supplies
  • Sports supplies
  • Garden supplies
  • Other non-food products

How to pay with EBT at FoodMaxx in California?

How to pay with EBT at FoodMaxx in California

First, you must visit a FoodMaxx store in your area. To do so, you can use the FoodMaxx Store Locator to find a nearby store or search for one using a ZIP code or an address. Alternatively, you can use the CA EBT Map Finder to locate a FoodMaxx store that accepts CalFresh EBT near you. 

In the store, you can pick out any item from the above list of CalFresh-qualified FoodMaxx products into your shopping cart. After you have added all the groceries that you need, you can proceed to the checkout lane. Next, let the cashier know that you will pay with your EBT card. You can swipe your card at the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal, or the cashier will process your payment. To complete your payment, you must enter the four-digit EBT PIN. 

The cashier may sometimes request your photo ID to verify that the card is in your name. You will receive a copy of a printed receipt after the transaction is successfully processed. It will include the total amount of your order and your updated EBT food benefit account balance. Keep your receipt safe so that you can check your updated EBT balance when you go shopping again. After that, you can use a different payment method, like a credit/debit card or cash, to pay for any non-eligible item in your cart.

If you face any issues while using your CalFresh EBT card at FoodMaxx, call the EBT Customer Service at 1-877-328-9677 (TTY: 1-800-735-2929). It is a toll-free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in ten languages, including English, Chinese, and Spanish. 

Does FoodMaxx Take EBT Online for Curbside Pick-up and Delivery Orders in California?

Yes, FoodMaxx accepts CalFresh EBT for online curbside pick-up and delivery orders in all its locations around California. FoodMaxx has collaborated with Instacart to provide its shoppers the convenience of online shopping through free pick-up and same-day grocery delivery.

Follow the steps below to order pick-up or delivery from FoodMaxx using CalFresh EBT:

  1. Go to shop.foodmaxx.com or the Instacart website (or mobile app) and log in to your account. First-time users must create an account before they can shop.
  2. Choose the pick-up or delivery tab on the Instacart homepage to find a location near you. Else enter your ZIP code to locate a FoodMaxx store in your area. 
  3. Once done building your order, click on the Cart button and choose your preferred delivery or pick-up time slot. Then, click on the Checkout button. FoodMaxx provides curbside pick-up from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and same-day delivery through Instacart. Your order can even be delivered within an hour of being placed.
  4. At the checkout, choose EBT SNAP as your payment method. Enter your EBT card information in addition to a supplementary payment method, such as a debit or credit card. You can also adjust the amount of payment made using EBT if needed. Otherwise, go to your Account Settings and add your EBT card as a payment method.
  5. The Place Order page will display a breakdown of the charges that will be made to your EBT card and your credit or debit card. Click the Place Order button after you have verified your payment options.
  6. After placing your order, you must provide the 4-digit PIN for your EBT card to complete the transaction. Use the second payment method to cover the cost of the ineligible CalFresh items in your cart and any extra charges.
  7. An Instacart Personal Shopper will carry out the shopping trip and proceed as such:
    • When you place a delivery order, the personal shopper will deliver your groceries to your home or workplace within your chosen timeframe. You may need to pay a delivery fee, service fee, or a tip (optional) on your delivery orders. There is no delivery fee on orders over $35 except for same-day orders over $35, which start at $3.99. Moreover, delivery fees for orders under $35, one-hour deliveries, and club store deliveries vary depending on the order.
    • When your groceries are available for pick-up, the app will notify you. If an item in your order is out of stock or has to be changed, your personal shopper will let you know via message. As you receive the confirmation that your order is ready for pick-up, go to your chosen FoodMaxx store and park in one of the designated Curbside Pick-up spaces. Confirm your arrival through the app, and a store employee will bring your groceries to your car.

Visit the Instacart Help Center if you have any concerns or require additional information.

It is crucial to note that you can not utilize your CalFresh food benefits to cover extra charges such as shopping fees, shipping fees, or tips. Therefore, you will have to pay cash or use a second payment option to cover such extra charges for your delivery orders.

What Other Grocery Stores Take CalFresh EBT in California?

What Other Grocery Stores Take CalFresh EBT in California

In addition to FoodMaxx, The Save Mart Companies’ other brands, Save Mart, Lucky California, Lucky, and MaxxValue, are all authorized Calfresh retailers. 

CalFresh is a statewide program that operates in all 58 counties in the state of California. Hence, the majority of supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retail locations across California take EBT cards. Other grocery store chains in California that accept CalFresh EBT payments include:

  • Costco
  • Aldi
  • Albertsons
  • Safeway
  • Vons
  • Kroger
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Whole Market
  • Save A Lot
  • Food 4 Less
  • Stater Bros Market
  • Superior Grocers
  • Stop & Shop
  • Big Saver Foods


Jason Hewett

Jason Hewett

Jason Hewett is a government grant expert who has helped people get the funding they need to survive with low income. He is the author of The Grantseeking Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Finding and Securing Federal, State, and Local Government Grants, and he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major publications.

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