Fast food restaurants that accept EBT?! It’s true, folks. This is fresh from the fact-checker! If you’ve ever wondered if you can use your EBT benefits at fast food restaurants, the answer is yes… but only in certain circumstances.
Since the option to offer a Restaurant Meal Program is left to the states, we’ve researched each state to find out if YOU can use your food stamps at local restaurants!
There are restaurants that accept EBT in all states!
Papa Murphy’s accepts EBT in all states! 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!
Starbucks locations within grocery stores may accept EBT. According to a Starbucks customer service representative, “Starbucks, as policy, does not accept food stamp cards for payment at its company-operated stores. However, some of our licensees, particularly those within grocery stores, may accept these for payment.”
The Restaurant Meals Program is only available to certain people in certain areas.
The Restaurant Meals Program is part of the federal food stamps law, but the federal government left it up to the states to decide whether or not to participate. As a result, only a few areas have fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
If you live in a participating area, you must meet program requirements in order to use your food stamps at restaurants. The Restaurant Meals Program is only offered to those who are unable to make their own meals at home because they are elderly, disabled and/or homeless.
“What restaurants accept EBT near me?”
If you’ve tried to find fast food restaurants that accept EBT near you, look no further! We’ve found a list of all participating restaurants in all participating areas, and we’ve organized it alphabetically for your convenience.
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.
As of December 31, 2021, eligible clients can use your SNAP benefits at over 300 fast food restaurants in Arizona. Only certain locations participate, so it’s important to check this list to make sure the location near you is participating.
- 47 Ave Food Store Inc.
- Blue Seas Express
- Burger King
- Burger Shoppe
- Carl’s Jr
- Chix N Mex
- Classic Cooking Academy
- Dairy Queen
- Diamond Creek Restaurant
- Domino’s Pizza
- Dorsey B’s Fish and Fixins
- Eat Fresh Mexican Food
- El Pollo Loco
- Fat Sub
- Figami Asian Fresh
- Firehouse Subs
- Harris & Smith Coffee Company
- Hungry Howie’s
- Jack in the Box
- Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria
- Krispy Krunchy Chicken
- La Perla Sports Cantina
- Latino Restaurant
- Lenny’s Burger
- Love Hawaiian BBQ
- Maskadores Taco Shop
- NK Gyros
- Paradise Mexican Food
- Rags Real Chicken and Waffles
- Rally’s Hamburgers
- Senor Sushi
- Smoke Dem Bones BBQ
- Speedy Street Tacos
- Sylvia’s La Canasta
- Sylvia’s Off The Grill
- Taco Bell
- Tasty Box
- Uncle Sam’s
Arkansas allows you to use food stamps at farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, but not restaurants.
California has officially changed their Restaurant Meals Program to be statewide! Instead of each county deciding for themselves, the state has now streamlined the process into one statewide program. You can still find a county-by-county list of restaurants that accept EBT in California by clicking here!
Restaurants that accept EBT include:
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Church’s Chicken
- Del Taco
- Domino’s Pizza
- Great Steaks
- Jamba Juice
- Pizza Hut
- and more!
Colorado offers some amazing discounts on museum admission (including a $10 per YEAR family membership to WOW! Children’s Museum) and other benefits… but they do not have any fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
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. Information about this program is incredibly limited. I was only able to find a reference to it in this Hawaii.gov document.
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!
Illinois has a Restaurant Meals Program that launched in late Spring 2022. This program is only active in Dewitt, Franklin and Cook Counties. Participating restaurants must be located in the 60619, 60620, 60628 and 60617 zip codes and meet other eligibility criteria. The program will continue to roll out in new areas over time.
Indiana offers lots of museum discounts, discounted YMCA memberships and more… but no Restaurant Meals Program.
Kansas will double your dollars at farmer’s markets, provide recreation scholarships and more… but they do not have any fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
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 produce and more to EBT card holders… but they don’t let you use your EBT card at restaurants.
Maryland participates in the Restaurant Meals Program as of 2020! There are ongoing pilot programs in a few Maryland counties while they consider expanding the program statewide. The state is currently seeking more restaurants to participate and has not released any formal list.
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 Restaraunt Meals Program.
Michigan previously discontinued their Restaurant Meals Program but may be developing another, according to some sources. Whether or not you can 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!
Minnesota offers great museum discounts, discounted YMCA membership and more… but no fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
Mississippi doesn’t participate in the RMP but they do offer museum discounts and other benefits.
Montana will double your money at community farms, provide museum discounts and more… but they do not participate in RMP.
Nebraska offers sliding-scale medical and dental services, free museum memberships and more! Hoewever, they do not have any fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
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.
New Mexico provides free museum memberships, double up food dollars programs and more… but no restaurant meals programs.
New York has passed a law in support of the Restaurant Meals Program as of November 2021. They are still waiting for federal USDA approval and in the meantime, restaurants are applying to participate in the program. This post will be updated when details become available.
North Carolina get free fishing licences 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.
Oregon has some of the best EBT benefits we’ve found. They’ll even let you book concert tickets for $5! however, they still won’t let you use your food stamps at restaurants.
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.
In 2022, the list of Rhode Island fast food restaurants that accept EBT include 10 Subway locations at the following addresses:
- 962 Cranston Street, Cranston
- 719 Westminster Street, Providence
- 583 Elmwood Avenue, Providence
- 579 Atwells Avenue, Providence
- 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence
- 614 Pawtucket Avenue, Pawtucket
- 483 Clinton Street, Woonsocket
- 310 Broad Street, Central Falls 2
- 58 Post Road (Walmart), Westerly
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 a 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 adopted the Restaurant Meals Program as well!
In a memo from the Virginia Department of Social Services dated July 2021, it was revealed that “Virginia SNAP households that include at least one member who are 60 or older, permanently disabled or experiencing homelessness would have the ability to purchase prepared meals using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at approved restaurants.”
It is not clear if this program has officially launched. It appears that the state is still looking to hire a program coordinator (as of October 2021) and I cannot find a participating state list yet.
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 markets programs that will double your money and even give your children free money to spend! However, they don’t have any fast food restaurants that accept EBT.
Can EBT be used at Restaurants?
Usually, EBT cannot be used at restaurants unless your state participates in the Restaurant Meals Program. According to the USDA, “You cannot use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at restaurants to purchase hot food or food intended for immediate consumption unless your State participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) that serves the elderly, disabled and/or homeless and you are part of this target population.”
What is the purpose of the Restaurant Meals Program?
The United States Department of Agriculture has reached out to me personally about this article. They confirmed that there are fast food restaurants that accept EBT but they want to stress the purpose of this program.
(The) Restaurant Meal Program has been an option for states — state run, state contracted, state administered — since the 1977 Food Stamp Act. The decision to establish a restaurant meal program is made entirely at the state level.Aaron Lavallee, communications coordinator for the USDA Office of Communications
Most importantly, the ONLY people who qualify are the elderly, disabled, and homeless, as this provision is intended to assist people who are unable to prepare meals at home or in a traditional kitchen setting.
Since 1977 the decision to establish a restaurant meal program has been made by only a handful of states and because of this participation is very low.
How can I bring this program to my area?
If you would like to see fast food restaurants that accept EBT in your area, contact your local lawmakers! You can easily find your elected officials on USA.gov. As we said before, this option has been available to states since 1977 but is very rarely used.
To help you, we’ve drafted a sample message below. You can copy and paste it, if you’d like – just be sure to change the names!
Dear [Elected Official],
Since 1977, the federal Food Stamp Act has given states the ability to enact the Restaurant Meals Program. This program allows vulnerable and at-risk populations, such as the homeless and elderly, who cannot cook meals for themselves at home. Through this program, these specific, qualifying individuals are allowed to use their food benefits to purchase affordable meals at select restaurants such as Subway. For more information about this program, you can visit LowIncomeRelief.com (https://lowincomerelief.com/fast-food-restaurants-ebt/).
This program has been successfully adopted in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, and Rhode Island. However, it is not yet available in our state.
Please take action to introduce the Restaurant Meals Program in our state.
Keep me posted about any responses you receive! I’d love to see fast food restaurants that accept EBT in all states for those who need them!