Ultimate Guide To Finding Fast Food Restaurants That Take EBT Near You
In this community resources guide, you will learn how to find fast food restaurants that accept EBT food stamp benefits.
It’s common knowledge that you can buy groceries from your local supermarket with a food stamps card, but many people don’t know that you can also buy hot food with your EBT card if you live in certain states.
To understand if you can purchase fast food with your EBT card in your state and which restaurants accept food stamps continue reading this guide.
What Fast Food Restaurants Accept EBT Near Me?
Fast food places that accept EBT include establishments like:
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
- Del Taco
- Church’s Chicken
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Dominos Pizza
- Jack in the Box
- Dairy Queen
- And more…
Although these establishments are in nearly every state in the U.S. this does not mean that your local fast food restaurant will accept your EBT card. Whether or not you can use your EBT card at a fast food restaurant near you will depend on if your state is a part of the Restaurant Meals Program.
What Is The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)?
The Restaurant Meals Program is a federal program that allows fast food restaurants to accept EBT cards from food stamp recipients. If you are wondering “how you find restaurants that accept EBT food stamps near me”, you first need to see if your state participates in the RMP.
In order for a fast food restaurant to accept food stamp benefits, the state they operate in must be a part of the RMP. What this means is if you have food stamps, but live in a state that is not part of the Restaurant Meals Program, you cannot purchase fast food with your food stamps card.
Editor’s Note: This federal food assistance program was created due to food stamp recipients having less access to appliances needed to prepare food purchased at the grocery store.
Which States Participate In The Restaurants Meals Program?
Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia are states that have the Restaurant Meals Program. This means if you live in one of these states you can likely use your EBT card at a fast food restaurant near you to purchase hot foods.
States Where You Cannot Buy Fast Food With Your EBT Card
If you live in any of the following states you likely will not be able to use your EBT card for purchases of hot food at fast food restaurants.
Check for your state below, because in some areas they allow you to purchase fast food with a food stamps card in specific counties or zip codes.
- Florida – Homeless individuals in Alachua County MAY be able to make purchases at fast food restaurants that accept EBT in Florida.
- Illinois – Only fast food restaurants in the counties of Dewitt County, Franklin County, Cook County can use a food stamp card to buy fast food. Furthermore, the Illinois zip codes with fast food that takes EBT include 60619, 60620, 60628, 60617.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Who Is Eligible To Make Purchases At Fast Food Restaurants That Accept EBT?
These are the general requirements to buy fast food at places that accept EBT:
- You must be eligible for the food stamp program.
- Must have an EBT card.
- You must live in a state that participates in the Restaurants Meals Program.
- In addition, you must either be considered homeless, a senior citizen who is 60 years and older, or have a disability. You can even qualify if someone in your SNAP household (spouse, parent, child) is 60+ or has a disability.
How To Find Fast Food Restaurants That Accept EBT Food Stamps Near Me
Three ways to find the fast food restaurants in your area that accept EBT are:
- Downloading the Providers app and using the map to search for food stamp friendly restaurants.
- Using the SNAP Retailer Locator tool.
- Looking for the “We Accept Food Stamps” sign on the window.
1.) Using The Providers App To Find Fast Food Restaurants That Accept Food Stamps
You can use this link to download the Providers app. In addition to showing you fast food places that accept EBT you can also keep track of your current food stamp balance.
Once you have installed the food stamp app on your phone, hit the “3 horizontal lines” in the left corner to see a dropdown menu. Select map and your screen will look like the screenshot below.
If there are fast food restaurants near you that accept EBT they will show up on your map.
2.) Find Fast Food Places That Accept EBT With The SNAP Retailer Locator Tool
This tool can be found on the USDA Food and Nutrition Services website. You simply enter your zip code that the tool will show you a map and listing of retailers that accept SNAP benefits.
This even includes fast food restaurants if you live in a state that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program.
3.) Look For The We Accept EBT Signs On The Window
If you aren’t tech-savvy and can’t use the apps just mentioned, but still want to know what restaurants accept EBT near me here is another option…
Just look for any signage that reads “We Accept EBT”. This will let you know what fast food locations accept food stamp benefits.
If you live in one of the 6 states that participate in the Restaurants Meals Programs, these signs shouldn’t be hard to find.
What If I Live In A State That Does Not Participate In The Restaurant Meals Program?
You can contact your state elected official if you would like to have the Restaurant Meals Program broth to your state.
To contact your federal, state, or local elected officials, you will need to visit the How To Contact Your Elected Officials webpage on USA.gov.
Next, choose an elected official to contact. In this example, I will choose a U.S. representative from Texas since there is no Restaurant Meals Program in my state. Click the U.S. Representative’s link to be taken to the next page.
From here select the letter of the state you live in. Since I’m in Texas I selected the letter “T”. Doing this presented me with the list of U.S. representatives in Texas. Once you find the U.S. representative in your area you can call them to voice your opinion about bringing the Restaurant Meals Program to your state.
Sample Letter To Request The Restaurant Meals Program In Your State
Another option is to write a letter to an elected official explaining that you would like the opportunity to use your food stamps card to make fast food purchases in your state.
Below is a template that you can use to create a letter to send to your elected official if you would like the RMP in your state.
Dear (elected official’s name here)
As a resident of (your state), I am writing to you to ask that you consider bringing the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) to our state. The Restaurant Meals Program is a federal program that allows fast food restaurants to accept EBT cards from food stamp recipients. This would be a great help to the people of (your state) because it would give us more access to hot foods that we can purchase with our EBT cards.
Currently, if we want to purchase fast food with our EBT cards, we have to live in one of the states that participate in the RMP. Currently, there are only 6 states that participate in this program. This means that many of us are not able to take advantage of this important benefit.
For more information about this food stamp program you can visit the link below:
All the best,
(your name here)
(your phone number here)
Fast food restaurants that accept EBT include well-known establishments like McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell, and many more.
In order to buy hot food with your food stamp card at these fast food restaurants, you need to live in a state (or county) that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program.
Food stamp recipients who live in a state that does participate in the Restaurant Meals Program can use their EBT card to buy fast food. The six states that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program include:
- Rhode Island
If you live outside of these states, you are not likely able to buy fast food with your food stamps card. You can however check this list to see if your specific zip code or county allows you to buy fast food with an EBT card.
To learn more about how you can purchase fast food with a food stamps card you can call the SNAP hotline at 800.221.5689.
If you would like to speak to your federal, state, or local elected official about having your state participate in the Restaurant Meals Program, you can visit the USA.gov website to contact your representative.
Similar Articles That May Interest You:
- If My Food Stamps Are Ending How Long Do I Have To Use My Balance?
- How Long Does It Take To Get A Food Stamps Card In The Mail?
- How Much Money Can You Have In The Bank And Still Get Food Stamps In Texas?
- Can You Use An EBT Card Without Your PIN Code?
Fast Food Restaurants That Accept Food Stamps FAQ
You can download the Providers app which will show you the restaurants that accept EBT near you. The USDA also has a SNAP Retailer Locator tool that also shows you a map of restaurants that accept EBT in your area. Keep in mind, you will need to live in a state that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program. Currently, there are only 6 states which fully participate in this program. Those states are Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
The Restaurant Meals Program is a program that allows SNAP recipients in certain states to purchase hot, ready-to-eat meals from participating restaurants. This program allows people with limited resources to purchase hot meals without having to cook or prepare their own food. Currently, only Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia participate in the program.
If the restaurant sells alcohol, you cannot purchase alcoholic beverages with your EBT card. The same goes for cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products. Restrictions vary by state and restaurant, but in general, you can purchase any “food items” at a fast-food restaurant as long as you live in a state that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program.
To use your EBT card at a fast food restaurant, you will need to swipe your food stamp card and enter your PIN number to pay for your meal. Some restaurants may also allow you to use your EBT card on their website or mobile app. When ordering online, you will be asked to enter your 16-digit EBT card number and your 4-digit PIN number.
If your EBT card is declined at a fast food restaurant, you should check your EBT balance online or by calling the customer service telephone number on the back of your card. Also, ensure that you are in a state that allows you to purchase fast food with an EBT card. Currently, only Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia participate in the Restaurant Meals Program and allow their fast food restaurants to accept food stamp payments.
Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.