Fast Food Restaurants that accept EBT Food Stamps

One of the questions we often get from our readers is whether there are restaurants that accept EBT. The answer is yes, but not everyone with an EBT card is allowed to use their card at fast food restaurants. You have to qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and your state has to offer the RMP in order for you to be able to buy food at designated restaurants.

In this post, we will explain how the Restaurant Meal Program works, who qualifies for the RMP program, what states offer the program and what restaurants are approved in each state for accepting EBT Food Stamps.

For more information on how and where you can use your food stamp benefits to purchase hot meals, continue reading below.

Fast food chains & Restaurants that accept EBT food stamps

 

How the Food Stamps Program Works

The Food Stamps Program, also known as SNAP benefits is a federally funded program that offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families. The program is run by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) but administered at the state level. If you want to sign up for food stamps, you have to apply through the agency in your state that runs the program.

There are strict eligibility requirements you have to meet to be approved for SNAP benefits, including income requirements. As of November 2018, there are 41 million people in the United States on Food Stamps.

Once approved, food stamps recipients are issued an EBT card, which is a debit card that allows them to purchase foods that are on the approved list at approved merchant locations.

"Fast Food Restaurants that accept EBT"What You Can Currently Buy with SNAP EBT

If you are currently receiving food stamps, you are allowed to buy food that you plan to take home and prepare at home to eat. That excludes hot food or buying food at restaurants. However, there are exceptions, which we will explain below.

Here is what you are allowed to buy with your EBT Card:

  • breads and cereals;
  • fruits and vegetables;
  • meats, fish and poultry; and
  • dairy products.
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

You are not allowed to use your EBT Card to purchase the following items:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Any nonfood items, such as:
  • pet foods
  • soaps, paper products
  • household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods

 

Restaurant Meals Program

 

As mentioned above, there are exceptions to the approved SNAP food list. In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people.

Since 1977, the Restaurant Meals Program has been an important part of the food stamps program. It enables qualified elderly, disabled and homeless SNAP recipients to buy food at authorized restaurants. Any state or county can enroll in the Restaurant Meals Program.

The purpose of the program is to help expand food access to those who do not have a place to store and cook food, who may not be able to prepare food or who don’t have access to a grocery store.

 

Who is Eligible for Restaurant Meals Program?

As mentioned, the Restaurant Meals Program is an exception to the rule regarding what you can buy with your EBT card. Here are the categories of people who are eligible for the program:

Homeless

For a homeless person to be eligible, the person/household must lack a fixed and regular nighttime residence or be living in a shelter, halfway house, or a place not designed for sleeping. This includes those who are temporarily staying in the home of another person (90 days or less).

Elderly

To be eligible, the elderly person/household must have only members who are 60 or older, or an elderly individual and his or her spouse.

Disabled

To be eligible, the person/household must have only members who are designated disabled by a government entity, or a disabled individual and his or her spouse.

Elderly or Disabled

To be eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program, the individual/household must have only members who are age 60 or older or designated as disabled by a government entity, or an elderly or disabled individual and his or her spouse.

 

States that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)

Fast Food Restaurants that accept EBT Food Stamps Near Me

The following states participate in the Restaurant Meals Program and we have listed below the specific restaurants that accept EBT in each state.

Arizona

The following fast food restaurants in Arizona participate in the Restaurant Meals Program:

  • 24th st Pizza & Gyros
  • Blimpie
  • Burger Shoppe
  • CiCi’s Pizza
  • Dairy Queen
  • Denny’s
  • Dominos Pizza
  • Eegees
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Fat Sub
  • Firestone Subs
  • Golden Corral
  • Harris and Smith Coffee Company
  • Helpings Cafe and Market
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria
  • KFC
  • Moon Light Family Restaurant
  • Papa Johns Pizza
  • Papa Murphy’s
  • Rally’s Hamburgers
  • Smoke Dem Bones BBQ
  • Speedy Street Tacos Corp
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Tasty Box
  • Uncle Sams
  • WaBa Grill

Participating Counties: Entire State

Restaurants that take EBT in Arizona

Get the complete list of all the fast food chains and restaurants that accept EBT in Arizona, including restaurant address and phone number by clicking the articles below.

Fast Food Chains and Restaurants that accept EBT in Arizona

Fast Food Chains and Restaurants that accept EBT in Phoenix, AZ

"Restaurants that accept EBT in Arizona"

California

The following fast food chains and restaurants in California participate in the Restaurant Meals Program:

  • Burger King
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Church’s Chicken
  • Del Taco
  • Denny’s
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Great Steaks
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jamba Juice
  • KFC
  • Papa Murphy’s
  • Popeye’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Quiznos
  • Rally’s Hamburgers
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Wendy’s
  • Wienerschnitzel

Participating Counties: Alameda County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County.

Restaurants that take EBT in Los Angeles, CA

Get the complete list of all the fast food chains and restaurants that accept EBT in Los Angeles, including restaurant address and phone number by clicking the link below.

Restaurants that accept EBT in Los Angeles, CA

"Restaurants that accept EBT Food Stamps"

 

Hawaii

Hawaii has been approved to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program; however, we currently do not have a list of the restaurants participating in the program.

We will update this post as soon as we are provided the list.

Participating Counties: Entire State

"Fast Food Restaurants that accept EBT Food Stamps California"

Illinois

This past summer, the Illinois Department of Human Services was approved to participate in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program (RMP).

This change to the Illinois food stamps program will allow qualifying SNAP households to use their EBT Card to purchase hot meals at participating restaurants.

Illinois is now accepting applications for restaurants to participate in the program. For more information or to apply for the Restaurant Meals Program, click here.

Illinois will begin rolling out the RMP to food stamp recipients within the coming months. We will update this post once the list of participating fast food and restaurant locations have been released.

Participating Counties: Dewitt County or Cook County with the following zip codes (60619, 60620, 60628 and 60617)

Maryland

The Maryland Department of Human Services has approved for the Restaurant Meals Program for eligible food stamp EBT Cardholders.

Currently, the DHS is piloting the program in select Maryland counties. Additional counties will be added to the program as it expands in the coming months.

The MD DHS is actively accepting applications for restaurants to participate in the RMP.

We will update this post with a list of all participating fast food chains and restaurants in Maryland once that information becomes available.

 

Michigan

In December 2020, Michigan announced that they would soon be allowing food stamps to be used at restaurants and fast food locations throughout the state.

However, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has still yet to officially launch the Restaurant Meals Program in the state.

The Michigan Restaurant Meal Program will allow individuals receiving food assistance benefits (FAP) to use their Michigan Bridge card to purchase prepared food from restaurants.

We will update this post with a list restaurants participating in the Michigan Restaurant Meal Program once that information is available.

"Fast Food Restaurants that accept EBT Food Stamps"

New York

In October 2021, New York Governor, Kathy Hochul signed legislation establishing a statewide Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This means that eligible food stamp recipients will soon be able to use their NY EBT Card at participating restaurants and fast food locations to purchase hot meals.

Currently, the program is accepting applications from New York fast food restaurants for the program. Once the program has been launched, we will update this post with all participating NY restaurants.

Participating Counties: Statewide

 

Rhode Island

The following restaurants in Rhode Island participate in the Restaurant Meals Program:

  • Subway
  • Federal Hill Pizza

Participating Counties: Entire State

Restaurants that take EBT in Rhode Island

Get the complete list of all the fast food chains and restaurants that accept EBT in Rhode Island, including restaurant address and phone number by clicking the article below.

Fast Food Chains and Restaurants that accept EBT in Rhode Island

How to Locate Participating EBT Restaurants

The easiest way to locate participating restaurants in the RMP is to look for the signage that states “Participating Restaurant: SNAP Restaurant Meals Program” with the “Fork & Knife” logo displayed on the door or window.

However, some fast food restaurant will simply display a sign saying “We Welcome EBT” or a variation of that as shown in the Pizza Hut sign below.

"Fast Food Restaurants that accept SNAP"

How to Use your EBT Card at Fast Food Restaurants

Using your SNAP EBT Card to purchase prepared, hot meals at restaurants and fast food locations is easy.

To use your EBT card to buy food at a restaurant, they will have to swipe it or run it through the point of sale machine, similar to how it is currently used at a grocery store.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find a participating restaurant or fast-food chain near you. Eligible locations will display a Restaurant Meals sign in their window.
  2. Purchase hot meals – breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the restaurant by using your EBT Card at checkout.
  3. Follow the instructions and enter your 4-digit EBT Card PIN to complete your purchase.
  4. Get your receipt to see the remaining balance on your food stamps EBT Card account.

Restaurants that DON’T take EBT Food Stamps

Here is the list fast-food restaurants that do not accept EBT, even in states that are participating in the Restaurant Meals Program:

  • A&W Restaurants
  • Arby’s
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chipotle
  • Cinnabon
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Five Guys
  • Hardee’s
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Long John Silver’s
  • Panda Express
  • Panera Bread
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Shake Shack
  • Starbucks
  • TCBY
  • Tim Hortons
  • Whataburger
  • Wingstop
  • WingStreet
  • Zaxby’s

For more on restaurants that accepts EBT, you can watch the video below from the ABC affiliate station in Arizona – ABC15.

Restaurants that Accept EBT Summary

The Restaurant Meals program applies to those who are homeless, elderly (age 60 or older), or disabled.

If you are one of the groups above and have an active EBT Card, you can use your food stamp benefits to buy hot food at select restaurants.

This includes prepared, hot food that can be eaten on the premises.

Still have Questions?

We hope this article on the fast food chains and restaurants that accept EBT was helpful to you! If you have more questions about the Restaurant Meals Program or need help with what restaurant are eligible, please let us know in the comments section below.

Did you know that your EBT Card also qualifies for discounts and freebies in your state? This includes discounted cell phone and internet service, discounted Amazon Prime membership, free museum admission, and much more!

For details about the discounts that come with the Food Stamps EBT Card, check out our EBT Card Guide by State.

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