People receiving government food assistance were given physical food stamps, Now government food assistance is given through a simple electronic transfer of funds onto an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.
So if you’re eligible for government food assistance, you’ll receive an EBT card, have your food assistance benefits loaded onto the card each month, and then be able to swipe your card to pay for groceries.
Whole Foods Overview
Whole Foods, which was recently purchased by Amazon.com is an American supermarket chain that is known for selling foods that are without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.
It also prides itself on the company culture, excellent customer service, and sustainable relationships with a consortium of stakeholders.
As Whole Foods continues to delight and expand its customer base, it appears that Whole Foods does not have a transparent policy for accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards (EBT).
So why is this important? If Whole Foods does accept EBT, why isn’t publicized?
Do Whole Foods Take EBT?
Yes, Whole Foods does accept EBT at their stores as a form of payment at all locations. This means that you are able to pay for most groceries in the stores that are not prepared, hot foods.
Some Departments are not Valid for EBT Payments
You can not purchase any items with your EBT card from any of these departments in Whole Foods:
- Floral department
- Beer department
- Wine department
- Pets department
- Whole Body department
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Some Items are Specifically not Allowed
In particular, you will find that some items may not be bought using government assistance-provided benefits. These include the following goods at Whole Foods:
- Pet food
- Lottery Tickets
- Hot foods or foods that are served in Whole Foods
Food Items you can Pay for with an EBT Card
Generally, take-home foodstuffs made to be prepared before eating dominate the stamp food list. Here’s what you can acquire with your EBT Card
- Frozen, canned, and fresh foods
- Frozen, canned, and fresh vegetables
- Fresh and Frozen Seafood (shellfish, fish, etc.)
- Cereals, bread, and granola bars
- Both dairy and non-dairy products – almond milk, cheese, yogurt, milk, etc.
- Poultry – chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken drumsticks, etc.
- Frozen foods – French fries, etc.
- Dessert items – brownies, ice cream, cookies, etc.
- Red Meat – ground beef, steak, ribs, etc.
- Pork products – pork tenderloin, pork sausage, bacon, pork chops, etc.
- Soft drinks – Izzie, Honest Tea, etc.
- Chips and Snack crackers – crackers, potato chips, pretzels, etc.
- Nuts, Seeds, and Plants – peanut butter, cashews, nut variety packs, etc.
- Cooking oils – avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
How to Use EBT Cards in Whole Foods Stores
EBT cards are easy to use as they operate exactly like a debit or credit card.
Firstly, at the checkout aisle, you simply swipe the card and put in your personal identification number on the keypad. You can then take your bags of groceries and leave.
In case your benefits on the card are not enough to pay for all of your groceries, you are able to utilize an additional method of payment to finish the transaction.
Obtaining your EBT balance is as easy as calling the customer service line at 1-888-356-3281 or stopping by any ATM and inputting your PIN.
At the time of publication, Whole Foods will not allow you to pay for grocery deliveries or online orders using EBT benefits. This may change as the USDA is running a pilot program to test out online EBT orders.
However, some chains are already starting to take EBT for online purchases now.
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If you follow these guidelines, you’ll find that shopping for items using government benefits is really no different from any other trip to the grocery store.
While your government-issued balance may not go as far at Whole Foods as it would at stores with lower prices,
If you’re hoping to purchase healthier snacks, specialty foods, or groceries for those with food allergies or other special dietary needs, you’ll find Whole Foods a welcome option.
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