Does KFC take EBT? Yes, but only at 131 specific locations around the United States. That’s because these restaurants operate under a program that is only available to certain SNAP areas in certain areas, as explained below.
Before you rush out to get a box of popcorn chicken, it’s important to read all the fine print so you don’t end up disappointed at the register. We’ll help you understand who is eligible and how this program works so you don’t end up ordering food that your SNAP can’t cover.
Does KFC take EBT?
KFC takes EBT at 131 locations across Arizona and California. These locations, which are listed by address below, are individually authorized to accept SNAP EBT benefits through the Restaurant Meals Program.
If you don’t live in California or Arizona, though, don’t lose hope! Since 2020, several other states have announced that they are working with the federal government to expand the restaurant program. With any luck, many more KFC locations will soon start accepting SNAP EBT benefits for low income customers.
What can you buy with EBT at KFC?
Food benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can only be used to purchase food items. Obviously, you can’t use them to purchase any non-food items like promotional merchandise. You have to purchase food that you can eat.
The good news is that almost everything sold by KFC is food, so you should be able to enjoy just about anything on the menu. This includes:
- Fried Chicken
- Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Famous Bowls
- Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
- Mac & Cheese
- Green beans
- Chocolate chip cakes
- and more!
The bad news is that you won’t get any extra money to spend through the Restaurant Meals Program, and most people don’t receive a lot of money in food stamps. It’s important to budget carefully if you’re going to be using those benefits at restaurants. Using printed coupons and even the restaurant’s app can help you stretch your benefits farther.
Who can buy KFC with EBT?
The only people who can buy KFC with EBT are those who are eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program. You may be eligible if ALL THREE of the following are true for you:
- You must live in a state with a Restaurant Meals Program.
- You must be unable to cook your own meals at home because you are elderly, homeless or disabled.
- You must purchase food from approved, participating locations.
If all this is true for you, then your caseworker should automatically opt you into this program. Once they check the box in the system, your card is automatically approved for use at restaurants that have registered with the state. Sometimes, this step is missed so you may need to follow up with your caseworker to fix it if there are any issues.
Which KFC locations take EBT?
Unfortunately, this is where it gets complicated. Each individual KFC location has to be approved by the government to accept SNAP benefits. That means that you need to make sure you’re going to the right location in order to use those benefits. There are some cities that have many KFC locations, but only one or two might be able to process those benefit payments.
I know it can be confusing, so we’ve made an easy-to-use list of all the participating locations. You can search through these addresses, which are organized by state, county and city. Use the PDF below to find a KFC that takes EBT near you!
Why doesn’t every KFC take EBT?
Currently, SNAP EBT is accepted at around 131 of all 3,913 KFC locations nationwide. It’s a great start and a wonderful resource for people who live near one of the participating locations, but there are many people in other areas who are frustrated that they can’t use their benefits to buy hot chicken meals.
Unfortunately, severe opposition from political leaders, health care advocates, and taxpayers have made it difficult for the Restaurant Meals Program to expand to other areas of the country. Some areas that previously had a program like this had to discontinue it because there was so much backlash.
Even in areas that have authorized it, some restaurant owners have decided not to participate. They may be worried about bad press or simply unable to keep up with the extra paperwork that the program requirements. Some may not be eligible because of the strict program requirements. There are many reasons why so many locations have declined to participate.
How do I pay with EBT at KFC?
Once you arrive at an eligible location, paying for your order is remarkably easy. You just need to swipe your card in the terminal just like you would at a grocery store or convenience store. The process is exactly the same.
However, you do need to be present at the restaurant in order to swipe that card. Either you, a member of your household, or your authorized representative will have to visit KFC in person to pay for your order. You cannot pay with EBT when you are ordering delivery through a third-party app.
FAQs about KFC EBT Policies
I know it can be confusing, especially when you’ve have always been told they cannot buy hot food with EBT. That’s still true for most EBT users, there are just some specific exceptions.
Does KFC take EBT?
Yes, KFC can take EBT at 131 specific locations. Get the exact addresses at LowIncomeRelief.com to make sure you’re going to the right place.
Does KFC take EBT food or cash?
Some locations can take both! In California, many restaurants that can process food benefits through the Restaurant Meals Program can also take EBT cash as well.
Does KFC take EBT in the drive thru?
As long as you’re visiting one of the locations in our list, you should be able to pay with EBT in the drive-thru.