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Does Ralphs Accept EBT?

Ralphs is the largest subsidiary of the Krogers family of stores, with over 180 outlets spread across Southern California. It is the oldest supermarket chain west of the Mississippi river since its establishment in 1873. Ralphs is famous among Californians as an inexpensive supermarket chain that offers exceptional bargains on a wide variety of high-quality fresh and seasonal foods.

Grocery shopping at Ralphs is ideal for CalFresh recipients who shop on a minimal budget. In this post, you will find everything you need to know about using EBT cards at Ralphs in California.

Does Ralphs Accept EBT?

All Ralphs supermarkets accept EBT payments in the United States, most of which are in California. Ralphs has acquired USDA approval to operate an authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer and thereby accepts EBT food benefits. SNAP-authorized Ralphs stores only accept EBT payments in-store and for online pickup orders.

As an authorized SNAP retailer, Ralphs adheres to all federal laws regarding what you can buy with your EBT card. It suggests that only SNAP-eligible items, including fresh produce, meats, bakery goods, and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase at its locations using your EBT food benefits. Consequently, you cannot redeem your food benefits to purchase ineligible SNAP items such as hot foods, liquor, or tobacco at Ralphs. You can find a nearby SNAP-authorized Ralphs store using the USDA’s EBT Retailer Locator.

In California, the SNAP program is operated as the CalFresh program. The CalFresh food benefits of the qualifying individuals and families are monthly credited to their EBT cards. An EBT card is a plastic card that is used to pay for CalFresh-eligible purchases.

What Can You Buy With Your EBT Card At Ralphs?

What Can You Buy With Your EBT Card At Ralphs

CalFresh recipients can only utilize their EBT food benefits to pay for groceries that come with a Nutritional Facts Label. Owing to USDA regulations, only a limited number of approved food products are eligible for EBT payments.

Since all Ralphs supermarkets fully adhere to USDA guidelines, not all of their products qualify for CalFresh. You can use your CalFresh food benefits to buy only qualifying products at Ralphs and pay the remainder with a different payment option.

Here’s a list of CalFresh-eligible goods you can find at your local Ralphs supermarket:

  • Milk and dairy products such as cheese, sour cream, and yogurt
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Bread, cereal, granola bars, frozen breakfast, and pancake or waffle mixes
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable
  • Grains, Beans, and Rice
  • Variety of meat and seafood
  • Ready-to-cook meals
  • Canned and dried food
  • Packed and uncooked pasta
  • Biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and cookie dough
  • Cakes, pies, croissants, tarts, muffins, and other baked goods
  • Packed snacks, chocolates, and candy
  • Jelly and jams
  • Salsa, dips, and other condiments
  • Dressing, oils, and vinegar
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Juices, shakes, and smoothies
  • Tea and Coffee (bottled, concentrate, cup, powdered, and leaf/beans)
  • Soda, energy drinks, and drink mixes or flavor enhancers
  • Ice-cream
  • Water and ice

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

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

Essentially, you can not use your CalFresh EBT card to pay for non-food items at a nearby Ralphs store. Furthermore, you cannot use your food benefits to buy hot or cooked meals as well as any non-USDA authorized items.

The USDA has set several restrictions on EBT purchases in order to discourage CalFresh recipients from spending their food benefits on non-essential frivolities. You must use a different payment method to pay for the items in your order that do not qualify for CalFresh.

You can not use your EBT card to purchase the following non-CalFresh eligible items at a nearby Ralphs supermarket:

  • Hot and prepared foods
  • Beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Medicines, vitamins, and other dietary supplements
  • Toiletries and everyday supplies
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Cosmetics and other personal care products
  • Baby food, toys, diapers, and other baby care products
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Clothes and footwear
  • Kitchen appliances and accessories
  • Cookware and tableware
  • Home decor accessories
  • School and office supplies
  • Sports and travel equipment
  • Toys and games
  • Electronics
  • Other non-food products

How To Use a CalFresh EBT Card at Ralphs?

How To Use a CalFresh EBT Card at Ralphs

All Ralphs stores accept CalFresh EBT for in-store purchases. Still, you can call your local Ralphs store to confirm its status as an authorized EBT retailer.

When you visit a USDA-authorized Ralphs supermarket, you can add any CalFresh-qualified items from the above list to your shopping cart. But, you will need an alternative payment option such as cash or a credit/debit card to pay for the items ineligible for CalFresh. After shopping, head to the checkout aisle and inform your cashier that you will pay with a CalFresh EBT card. Next, swipe your card at the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal, or the cashier will do it for you. To complete your purchase, you must enter your four-digit EBT PIN.

When the transaction is processed, you will receive a copy of a printed receipt of your order along with your new EBT food benefit account balance. You can hold on to the receipt to keep a record of your updated EBT balance for the next time you go shopping.

It will be a straightforward exchange unless your CalFresh account has an insufficient balance. To avoid this, keep the receipt from your previous transaction, which displays the remaining balance in your CalFresh account. You can also contact the EBT Customer Service by calling the toll-free number 1-877-328-9677 (TTY: 1-800-735-2929) to check your remaining EBT balance. It is a free service that is available 24×7 and is available in ten languages, including English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Does Ralphs Take EBT for Delivery and Pickup Orders?

Ralphs accepts Calfresh EBT payment only for online pickup orders and not for delivery orders.

You can order pickup through the Ralphs website or its mobile app from select authorized store locations. You can use the Ralphs store locator to find a nearby Ralphs store that offers pickup service.

Using your EBT card to buy groceries at Ralphs is an easy process. All you need to do is just follow these four steps:

Select the Pickup option and your pickup location

Create an account or log in to an existing account on the website or the mobile app. After you have logged in, enter your zip code and select “Pickup” as the shopping method. Then, click on the Change Store option next to the Pickup method. Choose the store location where you wish to pick up your groceries.

Build your order

Once you have selected your pickup location, you can start shopping.

Use the Start My Cart option to add the CalFresh eligible groceries to your shopping cart. Else, use the search bar to find the items you need to order. Next, click on the shopping cart icon to review your order or to accept substitutes. You can also add special instructions, for instance, ripe avocados only if needed.


To complete your order, click on “Check Out Pickup Items.” Select the day and time of your pickup order. You can place an order for pickup up to seven days in advance. Add your mobile number to receive notifications regarding product substitutions and order status updates. Go to the Payment Option section and select “SNAP EBT at Pickup”. Lastly, checkout. Your order confirmation will be sent to you through email or text.

Pay for your order at pickup.

Once your order is placed, a store associate will do the shopping for you. You will get a text notification once your order is ready for pickup. You will have a one-hour window to pick up your groceries within your chosen time slot. The typical pickup timings are between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week. However, it may differ depending on the location.

Use the mobile app to notify the store when you are less than 15 minutes away to avail the fastest service. At the appointed time, enter the specifically designated parking spaces and adhere to the instructions on the sign. You will need to use your EBT card to pay for your order. Then, a store associate will load your groceries into your car. You can access a digital receipt of your order through the app.

Ralphs provides free pickup only for orders of $35 or more, while all the other orders are subject to a $4.95 service fee. Your EBT food benefits will not cover the service charge or other additional costs. Hence, you may need a secondary payment option for such cases.

What Other Grocery Stores Accept CalFresh EBT in California?

What Other Grocery Stores Accept CalFresh EBT in California

CalFresh is a federal initiative with a county-operated system in the state of California. The program is active in all 58 counties in California. It assists in stretching food budgets, allowing qualified individuals and families to afford nutritious foods such as staples, fruits, and vegetables. CalFresh recipients can buy groceries at most supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retail outlets across California that accept EBT cards as payment.

Along with Ralphs, the following grocery stores in California accept CalFresh EBT:

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

It should be noted that not all of the listed grocery chains accept EBT food benefits as payment in all of their locations. Their CalFresh participation will vary depending on the area and county. You can contact your local county office and ask for a list of participating EBT locations or look for a nearby EBT store here.

The Bottom Line

Ralph accepts CalFresh EBT as payment at all its locations in California. You can use your food benefits for all in-store and online pickup orders. Although, it does not accept EBT payments for online delivery. You can only buy CalFresh-eligible items, such as fresh produce, staples, meats, and non-alcoholic beverages, using a CalFresh EBT card at Ralphs. Moreover, you will need a secondary payment method to buy non-CalFresh eligible items at its stores.


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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