Fast-food restaurants that accept EBT Near me? If you’ve ever wondered if you can use your EBT benefits at fast-food restaurants, the answer is yes, but not everyone with an EBT card is allowed to use their card at fast-food restaurants.
How the Food Stamps Program Currently Works
The program is run by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) but administered at the state level.
If you want to sign up for food stamps, you have to apply through the agency in your state that runs the program.
There are strict eligibility requirements you have to meet to be approved for SNAP benefits including income requirements.
Once approved, food stamp recipients are issued an EBT card. They are given a debit card that allows them to purchase foods that are on the approved list at approved merchant locations.
Who qualifies for the RMP program, what states offer the program, and what restaurants are approved in each state for accepting EBT Food Stamps.
You have to qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and your state has to offer the RMP in order for you to be able to buy food at designated restaurants.
What is the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)?
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize the transfer of their government benefits from a federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received.
It is a card that looks and works like a debit or credit card but is loaded with food stamps and/or cash benefits. You can use it at stores or fast-food restaurants that accept EBT.
EBT is used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, and has been implemented in all states since June 2004.
Where can’t I use my EBT Card?
You cannot use your EBT Card at the following locations:
- Poker Rooms
- Card Rooms
- Smoke & Cannabis Shops
- Adult Entertainment Businesses
- Tattoo & Piercing Shops
- Spa/Massage Salons
- Bingo Halls
- Bail Bonds
- Gun/Ammo Stores
- Cruise Ships
- Psychic Readers
- Does Costco Take EBT?
- Applying for SNAP Benefits in Tennessee
- Kansas SNAP Benefits
- Does Schwan accept EBT?
- Where can I get Money from my EBT Card for Free?
What You Can Currently Buy with SNAP
If you are currently receiving food stamps, you are allowed to buy food that you plan to take home and prepare at home to eat.
That excludes hot food or buying food at fast-food restaurants that accept EBT near you.
However, there are exceptions, which we will explain below.
Here is what you are allowed to buy with your EBT Card;
- Bread and cereals;
- fruits and vegetables;
- meats, fish, and poultry; and
- dairy products.
- Seeds and plants produce food for the household to eat.
Foods and Products Not Eligible for Purchase with the EBT Card include;
- Hot foods from deli/foods to be eaten in store
- Vitamins or medication
- Pet food
- Paper or cleaning products
- Alcohol/tobacco products.
For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.
Who is Eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program?
As mentioned, the Restaurant Meals Program is an exception to the rule regarding what you can buy with your EBT card. Here are the categories of people who are eligible for the program:
For a homeless person to be eligible, the person/household must lack a fixed. A regular nighttime residence or living in a shelter, halfway house, or a place not designed for sleeping.
This includes those who are temporarily staying in the home of another person (90 days or less).
To be eligible, the elderly person/household must have only members who are 60 or older, or an elderly individual and his or her spouse.
To be eligible, the person/household must have only members who are designated disabled by a government entity, or a disabled individual and his or her spouse.
Elderly or Disabled
To be eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program, the individual/household must have only members who are age 60 or older or designated as disabled by a government entity, or an elderly or disabled individual and his or her spouse.
What Fast-Food Restaurants Accept EBT Near Me?
Most take-and-bake pizzerias accept EBT. They don’t actually count as “restaurants” because you have to take the food home to cook it!
As of June 2018, eligible clients can use your SNAP benefits at the following fast-food restaurants that accept EBT in Arizona:
- 24th st Pizza & Gyros (Phoenix only)
- Blimpie (Phoenix only)
- Burger Shoppe (Phoenix only)
- CiCi’s Pizza (Phoenix only)
- Dairy Queen
- Dominos Pizza
- El Pollo Loco
- Fat Sub (Lake Havasu City)
- Firehouse Subs
- Firestone Subs (Maricopa)
- Golden Corral
- Harris and Smith Coffee Company (Ajo only)
- Helpings Cafe and Market (Phoenix only)
- Jack in the Box
- Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria
- Moon Light Family Restaurant (Phoenix only)
- Papa John’s Pizza (Casa Grande only)
- Rally’s Hamburgers (Yuma only)
- Smoke Dem Bones BBQ (Phoenix only)
- Speedy Street Tacos Corp (Phoenix only)
- Taco Bell
- Tasty Box (Phoenix only)
- Uncle Sams
- WaBa Grill
In order to qualify, every member of the household must meet ONE of the following requirements. Not all household members have to meet the same requirement.
- Age 60+
- Homeless (does not have a fixed/regular nighttime residence)
- Disabled (receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits, VA, or other disability payments)
States that Accept EBT and Food Stamps
Alabama doesn’t offer the Restaurant Meals Program but they DO offer free U-Pick Strawberry farms, $5 spay/neuter pet surgeries, and more!
Alaska offers museum discounts, dollar-doubling programs at Farmer’s Markets, and more… but no Restaurant Meals Program.
Arizona allows disabled, elderly, and homeless SNAP recipients to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.
Arkansas allows you to use food stamps at farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, but not restaurants.
California offers the Restaurant Meals Program in many different counties! Each county makes its own rules.
Colorado offers some fantastic discounts on museum admission (including a $10 per YEAR family membership to WOW! Children’s Museum) and other benefits… but no Restaurant Meals Program.
Connecticut offers free and cheap museum admission deals and other benefits… but they do not offer the Restaurant Meals Program.
Delaware will give you a State Parks Pass for $10, pro bono legal services, and other discounted memberships… but no fast food with your EBT card.
Florida offers a limited version of the Restaurant Meals Program. This program is only available to the homeless residents of Alachua County.
Qualifying SNAP recipients can use their benefits at the following fast-food restaurants that accept EBT in Alachua County:
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
Georgia invites you to explore free museums, enjoy organic food deliveries, and more… but the state does not offer a Restaurant Meals Program.
Hawaii allows disabled, homeless, or elderly SNAP recipients and their spouses can use their benefits at fast-food restaurants that accept EBT.
Idaho does not offer a Restaurant Meals Program but they do offer other benefits, like discounted spay/neuter service, weatherization assistance, and discounted museum programs!
Restaurants that Accept EBT Include:
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Church’s Chicken
- Del Taco
- Domino’s Pizza
- Great Steaks
- Jamba Juice
- Pizza Hut
Illinois invites you to explore Shedd Aquarium (FREE), Adler Planetarium ($1/person), and dozens of other venues for free or very cheap… but they don’t let you buy fast food with your EBT card.
Indiana offers lots of museum discounts, discounted YMCA memberships, and more… but no Restaurant Meals Program.
Iowa ended its Restaurant Meals Program in February 2001. However, you can still get huge museum discounts, dollar doubling at farmer’s markets, and maybe even free hunting/fishing licenses!
Kansas will double your dollars at farmer’s markets, provide recreation scholarships, and more… but no fast food with your EBT card.
Kentucky doesn’t offer the Restaurant Meals Program but they do have a discounted museum!
Louisiana doesn’t offer the Restaurant Meals Program but they do offer museum discounts, CSA coop discounts, and more!
Maine offers museum discounts, free farmer’s market products, and more to EBT cardholders… but they don’t let you use your EBT card at restaurants.
Maryland will give you discounted admission to three museums, double your money at farmer’s markets, and more… but no restaurants with your EBT card.
Massachusetts has some excellent programs for EBT recipients! You can get discounts at over a dozen museums, participate in the Healthy Incentives Program, and more! Unfortunately, they do not offer a Restaurant Meals Program.
Michigan has, unfortunately, discontinued its Restaurant Meals Program. Although you can no longer buy Church’s Chicken, McDonald’s, or Mr T’s BBQ with EBT, you can still get more than 10 museum discounts (including FREE memberships to Great Lake’s Children’s Museum) and more!
States that Accept RMP
Minnesota offers great museum discounts, discounted YMCA membership, and more… but no restaurant programs.
Mississippi doesn’t participate in the RMP but they do offer museum discounts and other benefits.
Missouri allows you to take free college classes but won’t let you spend your food stamps at restaurants.
Montana doubles your money at community farms, provides museum discounts, and more… but they do not participate in RMP.
Nebraska offers sliding-scale medical and dental services, free museum memberships, and more! However, they do not participate in any restaurant programs.
Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services states,
“SNAP benefits can be used by the elderly and their spouses, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, and their spouses, and homeless households to purchase meals at approved restaurants, congregate eating sites, and from meals on wheels.”
However, we have not been able to find a complete list of restaurants that accept EBT in Nevada.
New Hampshire can help you save money on your power bill, provide discount veterinary care, and more… but they don’t participate in any RMP programs.
New Jersey can help EBT cardholders take care of their pets cheaper… but they won’t let you spend those food stamps dollars at restaurants.
Other States that Take EBT
New Mexico provides free museum memberships, double-up food dollars programs, and more… but no restaurant meals programs.
New York has some absolutely unbelievable benefits for EBT cardholders… but they still won’t let you spend your food stamps dollars at restaurants.
North Carolina gets free fishing licenses and discounted museum entry… but NC doesn’t offer an RMP program.
North Dakota offers help with prescriptions, energy costs, and more… but they won’t let you buy restaurant meals with that EBT card.
Ohio offers discounts at nearly a dozen museums, YMCA discounts, and more… but no RMP.
Oklahoma offers other EBT benefits but no fast food or restaurant purchases.
Pennsylvania offers EBT cardholders dozens of museum discounts. They even have discounts for minigolf and carousels! Unfortunately, they still won’t let you buy restaurant meals with your food stamps card.
Rhode Island residents who are age 60+, disabled, or homeless (living in a shelter, halfway house, or even staying temporarily with someone else) can use their EBT benefits at certain participating restaurants.
The List of Rhode Island Restaurants that Accept EBT
South Carolina offers $2 tickets to the Philharmonic, museum discounts, and other deals… but no restaurant meals program.
South Dakota offers museum discounts, free u-pick strawberries, and potentially even property tax discounts for EBT cardholders! Unfortunately, they do not authorize restaurant purchases for food stamps.
Tennessee offers some great deals with your EBT card, including a $25 per year family membership to Adventure Science Center in Nashville! However, they won’t let you use your food stamps to buy food at restaurants.
Texas offers discounts at Houston Zoo and five other venues with your EBT card. Although they have other perks, they do not offer an RMP.
Utah doesn’t offer a Restaurant Meals Program but they do offer museum discounts and other perks to those with EBT cards!
Vermont offers seasonal fuel assistance and other benefits to those with EBT cards… but they do not have a restaurant meals program.
Virginia has a lot of different programs for EBT recipients but they don’t authorize restaurant purchases.
Washington has many discounted museums. Take-and-bake restaurants like Leonardi’s and Figaro’s will bake your pizzas for you for an extra non-EBT dollar. However, no other restaurants are authorized.
West Virginia EBT cardholders can visit Spark! Imagination and Science Center for FREE and enjoy other benefits… but they can’t buy food at restaurants.
Wisconsin has great museum discounts, CSA programs, and other deals but no RMP.
Wyoming has some epic farmer’s market programs that will double your money and even give your children free money to spend! However, they don’t have RMP.
Restaurants that don’t Take EBT Food Stamps
Here is the list of fast-food restaurants that do not accept EBT, even in states that are participating in the Restaurant Meals Program:
- A&W Restaurants
- Dairy Queen
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Five Guys
- In-N-Out Burger
- Krispy Kreme
- Long John Silver’s
- Panda Express
- Panera Bread
- Qdoba Mexican Grill
- Shake Shack
- Tim Hortons
Although there are many uncertainties and questions to be answered, the EBT and RMP programs are here to stay.
This is a positive step by the United States in combating world hunger and ensuring that the elderly and disabled have a chance at life.
Make a thorough inquiry before visiting these stores and restaurants to ensure that your food stamps are accepted.