Where Can You Use Your SNAP Benefits?
If you are one of the over 9 million families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, you might have wondered about where you can use them beyond your neighborhood grocery store. This is especially relevant for people who are new to the program or who want to use their benefits if they travel to another U.S. state.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, SNAP benefits on your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card are eligible to be used at any authorized retail food store in the U.S., including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. Here’s where you can use your SNAP benefits, including popular fast-food restaurants.
Well-Known Stores Where You Can Use Your SNAP Benefits
Many stores accept SNAP benefits. The best way to find out all of the retailers near you that will accept your EBT card for payment is to use the SNAP Retailer Locator. Here is a list of some well-known stores where you can use your SNAP benefits.
- Dollar General
- Family Dollar
- Dollar Tree
- Piggly Wiggly
- CVS Pharmacy
- Rite Aid
- Trader Joes
Besides the stores just listed, there are hundreds of stores that accept SNAP benefits as payments, many of which are probably near you. For example, besides 7-Eleven, many other convenience stores will accept SNAP payments.
Stores That Accept SNAP Benefits for Online Orders
Not everyone prefers to go into stores to shop, and some stores allow people to use their SNAP benefits for online orders. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have signed up for the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. Alaska is the only state that has not signed up for this program, so you won’t be able to use your EBT card for online orders there.
The following is not an exhaustive list and not every location of each store listed will accept an EBT card for online orders. Verify whether you can pay with your SNAP benefits in advance of placing an order. Also note that your SNAP benefits are only authorized to pay for eligible food items, so delivery fees and other associated charges will not be covered.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Food Lion
- Stop & Shop
Various smaller grocery chains and independent stores are also offering consumers the option to pay for their online grocery orders with their SNAP benefits, including Giant Eagle, Giant Food, Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Lucky Supermarkets. Check with your favorite local grocery store to see if it will accept your SNAP benefits for online orders or visit the USDA’s list, which is organized by state.
Places You Might Not Expect To Use Your SNAP Benefits
You can also use your SNAP benefits at some restaurants through the Restaurant Meals Program. But you have to meet certain qualifications and live in a state that participates in the RMP to do so. The program was created for people who do not have the ability to prepare food for themselves or who do not have a permanent home to store and prepare food. To be able to use your SNAP benefits at a restaurant, you must be either:
- 60 years of age or older
- Disabled and receiving disability or blindness payments or disability retirement benefits from a governmental agency for a permanent disability
- Spouse of a SNAP client who is eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program
You must also live in one of the following U.S. states that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program:
- Rhode Island
Related: Does KFC Accept SNAP EBT Cards?
Restaurants that participate in the RMP program will vary by state and location. Each state is allowed to choose which restaurants and how many restaurants they want to participate in their state’s RMP. For example, in Los Angeles, some of the participating restaurants include the following:
- Jack in the Box
- Carl’s Jr.
- Pizza Hut
- El Pollo Loco
- Domino’s Pizza
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Little Caesar’s
However, in Arizona, while restaurants such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Jack in the Box accept SNAP, no Wienerschnitzel locations are listed as accepting SNAP. If you are eligible to use your SNAP benefits at participating restaurants, call ahead to find out if a particular restaurant you are interested in accepts EBT cards, or check your state’s website to find a list.
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