Restaurants that Take EBT: A State-by-State Guide

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Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards have changed how people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use food benefits. This change allows more food options for these individuals and families, as they can now use their benefits at selected restaurants, not just grocery stores. Adding restaurants to the EBT program shows a solid commitment to ensuring all Americans can access healthy meals regardless of income.

Understanding EBT and SNAP

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a digital system used by people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food with their benefits.

Initially created to help lower-income families buy groceries more easily, EBT has expanded to include various food places like certain restaurants through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP). This broadens where SNAP benefits can be used, giving more food-purchasing options.

States with EBT-Friendly Restaurants

The number of restaurants accepting EBT through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) varies significantly between states, mainly because states choose whether or not to participate in the RMP.

The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)

RMP is a facet of SNAP that permits eligible individuals—such as older adults, people with disabilities, and those without homes—to purchase hot, prepared meals at approved restaurants. This initiative recognizes specific individuals’ challenges in preparing meals at home and provides a practical solution to meet their nutritional needs.

How to Use EBT at Restaurants

Using your EBT card at participating restaurants is straightforward. After verifying that a restaurant accepts EBT, you can use your card as a debit or credit card at the time of purchase. It’s essential to be aware of your balance and ensure the establishment is part of the RMP.

  Common Fast Food Chains Accepting EBT

Subway McDonald’s Burger King
Jack in the Box Pizza Hut Carl’s Jr.
KFC Cicis Pizza Denny’s
Golden Dragon Buffet Hometown Buffet Bob Evans
Del Taco Subway  Sonic Drive-In
Golden Corral Papa Murphy’s Panda Express
Country Buffet El Pollo Loco Taco Bell
Ponderosa Steakhouse Fire Mountain Grill Jersey Mike’s Subs

States that Are in the RMP Program

Arizona

Arizona offers diverse restaurants accepting EBT, highlighting the state’s commitment to accessible nutrition. The options cater to various tastes and preferences, from Mexican eateries to pizza places. 

  • Blimpie, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, Subway, and Taco Bell.

California 

California boasts a comprehensive list of EBT-accepted restaurants, ranging from fast food to healthier dining options. The state’s proactive approach to integrating EBT into the food industry sets a precedent for others to follow, aiming to reduce food insecurity among its residents. 

  • Ameci Pizza and Pasta, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, Subway, and numerous local establishments across various counties​

Illinois 

The state participates in the RMP and a few restaurants, such as:

  • BJ’s Market and Bakery and S2 Express Grill are listed as examples.

Maryland

This program enables individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to utilize these funds at participating restaurants and delis. The beneficiaries of this program include older adults, people needing a home, and persons with disabilities.

  • Restaurants that take EBT are Burger King and CR Wings.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has implemented a program that permits qualified households to purchase food at designated restaurants using their SNAP benefits.  Restaurants that participate are:

  • La Parada, El Taller, Faneek’s Coney Island, Fresh Food Generation, and Fritay Restaurant.

Michigan’s EBT-Friendly Establishments

Michigan’s participation in the RMP allows SNAP recipients to enjoy meals at local favorites and national chains. This initiative supports those on SNAP and stimulates local economies by driving traffic to participating businesses.

  • Foundry Bakehouse and Deli, Emma’s Coffee House, Just Munchies, Wing Heaven Sports Haven, and more.

Rhode Island

  • Subway restaurants and the Federal Hill Pizza Restaurant in Providence.

New York’s Participation in RMP

While New York’s engagement with the RMP is growing, it exemplifies the potential for expansion and the positive impact on SNAP recipients’ lives.  New York aims to provide nutritious meal options for all EBT users. 

  • Lakeside Haven Family Restaurant in Rochester is an approved participant in the program.

Pamela Lipscomb

Free Financial Help was created Pamela Lipscomb, a licensed, and ordained minister with 30 years of experience in underserved communities, I have witnessed the profound impact that financial guidance and support can have on families. In this blog, I draw from my extensive experience in diverse programs that bring transformation in families with financial hardships. Our online platform stands as a ray of hope, offering financial assistance, like rent, utilities, food, and medical aid, empowering those in need towards a brighter, more secure future. Follow us on Facebook

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