Does McDonald’s Accept EBT SNAP/Food Stamps as Payment?

Longueuil,Quebec, Сanada - August 19, 2014: McDonald's restaurant at dusk with play place inside.
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While you generally cannot purchase food from McDonald’s using your EBT card, there are some exemptions. According to QuerySprout, if you get the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits or qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), you could use your SNAP benefits to make a purchase at McDonald’s.

See: SNAP Benefits Available in Your State in 2022
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Does the RMP Allow SNAP Beneficiaries To Purchase McDonald’s?

The RMP is a state option that allows certain SNAP beneficiaries to buy prepared foods at restaurants with their SNAP benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that eligible individuals are typically those who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves or who do not have permanent housing to prepare or store food. 

To be eligible for RMP, you must qualify for SNAP in a state that has an RMP, which is Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island and Virginia, and all members of the household must be either:

  • Age 60 or older
  • Disabled
  • Homeless
  • The spouse of a SNAP client who is eligible for the RMP

RMP-eligible individuals may purchase food at a McDonald’s using their SNAP benefits if the restaurant is in a state that has RMP, has approval from the state and was authorized by the Food and Nutrition Service to accept SNAP benefits.

Can You Use TANF Benefits at McDonald’s?

The TANF program gives grant funds to states and territories to provide families with financial assistance and other support services. To qualify for TANF benefits, you must be a U.S. citizen, legal alien or qualified alien, reside in the state you applied and be unemployed or underemployed with low or very low income. One of the following must also be true:

  • Have a child age 18 or younger
  • Be pregnant 
  • Be 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household 

SNAP Schedule 2022: March Payments
Find: Will My State Provide Extra SNAP Benefits in March?

States may issue TANF benefits through EBT cards. You can withdraw this money at an ATM, which can then be used to purchase food from restaurants like McDonald’s, said QuerySprout.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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