Does Whole Foods Accept EBT Cards?

You might want to go shopping for groceries but don’t have cash on you, and now you’re posed with the question, “Does Whole Foods accept EBT card? Well, you’re just about to find out.

Does Whole Foods Accept EBT Card?

Several years ago, people receiving government food help were given physical food stamps.

Nowadays, this government food assistance which usually comes from either the SNAP 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 help benefits loaded onto the card each month, and then be able to swipe your card to pay for groceries.

Whole Food Overview

Whole Foods, which was recently purchased by Amazon.com, is an American supermarket chain that is known for selling foods that are free of 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, Whole Foods does not have a transparent policy for accepting Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards (EBT).

So why is this important? If Whole Foods accepts EBT, why isn’t publicized?

Do Whole Foods Take EBT?

Yes, whole foods accept EBT at their stores as payment at all locations.

This means that you can pay for most groceries in the stores that are not prepared, hot foods.

You can purchase baked goods from their bakery using the EBT card as well.

It is important to realize that not every food item at Whole Foods is eligible for payment with your EBT card.

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

Some Items are Specifically Not Allowed

In particular, you find some items may not be bought using government assistance-provided benefits. These include the following goods at Whole Foods:

  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Pet food
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Vitamins
  • Toiletries
  • Medicines
  • Hot foods or foods that are served in Whole Foods


Food Items You Can Pay for With an EBT Card

Take-home foodstuffs made to be prepared before eaten dominate the stamp food list.

Here’s what you can gain with your EBT Card.

Food Items you can Pay for with an 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 can use an additional method of payment to finish the transaction.

Getting your EBT balance is as easy as calling the customer service line at 1-888-356-3281 or stopping by any ATM machine 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.

Some chains are already taking EBT for online purchases now.

If you follow the SNAP 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.

Also, if you’re hoping to purchase healthier snacks, speciality foods, or groceries for those with food allergies or other special dietary needs, you’ll find Whole Foods a welcome option.

Frequently Asked Questions

The EBT system does not keep a record of what you buy.

Yes. Information about clients in the EBT system is under the same privacy rules that govern the CalFresh Program and CalWORKs.

They take cash, electronic food stamps (EBT), Apple Pay, major credit and debit cards, Whole Foods Market gift cards, and Visa, American Express, and Mastercard gift cards at our stores.

Whole Foods Market has officially opened its first store using Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology. Customers can use the technology to scan into the store and bypass the cashier entirely.

The service fee is intended to cover the running costs of grocery delivery without raising product prices, however not all Prime users believe that the business approach is fair.

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