Does Trader Joe’s Accept EBT Food Stamps?
If you live on a tight food budget and are a devotee of Trader Joe’s — and, man, are there are a lot of them around — here’s some good news: Financially strapped Americans who qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits can use their electronic benefits transfer card to purchase food at the popular grocery chain.
Trader Joe’s accepts six different types of payments — including EBT cards, the company said on its website. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program designed for families who need financial assistance buying food. Instead of using food stamps, they now use reloadable EBT debit cards to make purchases.
EBT cards are accepted in most grocery stores and at many other retailers that sell groceries, including Walmart and Target. Amazon also accepts EBT cards for eligible food purchases.
SNAP benefits are administered at the state level and rules vary by state, so be sure to check the appropriate agency in your state to learn how the program works and when your EBT card is reloaded.
As of March 2022, Trader Joe’s has locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The only states where it doesn’t have stores are Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.
According to the USDA, you can buy any food for the household with your EBT card, including the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food to eat
Items you can’t buy with the EBT card include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics.
Another thing to keep an eye on is whether your EBT card has an expiration date. According to the USDA, states have the option of implementing expiration dates for EBT cards. To find out if your SNAP EBT card has an expiration date, call your state’s EBT customer service number, which should be on the back of your card or on your state program’s website.
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