Which Restaurants Accept EBT/SNAP In 2022?
If you have an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, then there is a range of restaurants where you can claim assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Better known as SNAP, 41.5 million Americans currently use the program which was once simply known as food stamps.
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is just part of it and allows participating restaurants to accept EBT cards for eligible individuals to claim meals. With so many restaurants in the US, it is crucial that you know which ones you can head to in your area if you are eligible to benefit.
In this piece, we will look at how an individual can get involved in SNAP, what the RMP is, and the eligibility criteria to be met to benefit from RMP at those participating restaurants.
We will also look at which restaurants accept EBT/SNAP, how to locate them, and which states are participating in the RMP — but to not bury the lead most big fast-food names like KFC, Taco Bell, Subway, etc, as well as some healthier options like Jamba Juice, participate in the RMP program and in eligible states (covered below) you can use your EBT/SNAP benefits to pay for your food/drinks/etc.
Table of Contents
What Is The Restaurant Meals Program? (RMP)
The Restaurant Meals Program, also known as RMP, is a state option that allows specific SNAP individuals to receive prepared meals at certain restaurants. These individuals may not have their own permanent housing where they can cook food for themselves and be able to prepare their own meals, or may be in between housing arrangements, or simply unable to get food on the job otherwise. The RMP is there to help get meals to those who are in need of them.
The Eligibility Criteria To Benefit From RMP At Participating Restaurants
Firstly, those involved in SNAP need to be certified in one of those states that have an RMP. Following that confirmation and eligibility for the food stamp program, each member of the household is required to be either 60 years old or older, homeless, a spouse of a SNAP client who remains eligible for RMP, or disabled. For that final disabled criteria, individuals should receive either blindness, disability payments, or disability retirement benefits due to a disability that is classed as permanent.
The Restaurants Which Accept EBT/SNAP In 2022:
Once you have successfully applied and received your EBT card, several well-known restaurant chains are participating — These include McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, Subway, Taco Bell, Denny’s, Del Taco, Church’s Chicken, Carl’s Jr, Dairy Queen, Blimpie, Wendy’s, Jack In The Box, Jamba Juice, Papa Murphy’s, Rally’s Hamburgers, and Popeye’s. These restaurants will operate as franchises that are independently owned/operated so each one requires its own authorization to be part of the program.
Check Before You Go
While the list of restaurants that accept EBT/SNAP is substantial and includes many that can pretty much be found in most US states, this does not necessarily mean that your local restaurant will accept your EBT card. Only certain states are currently participating in the RMP, though this may change in the future.
Though those EBT cards can be used throughout different states, the benefits for the RMP are not interoperable as the cards can only be used in those participating restaurants in the state you call home. It’s a bit complicated — but basically if you’re RMP-certified you can use your EBT card at the above restaurants in the state you receive benefits in — otherwise the card will likely be rejected and you’ll need to pay with cash or credit/debit card rather than your benefits.
What States Which Are Participating In The RMP?
At least six states are participating in the RMP which has been recognized by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency that runs the SNAP program. Those states include Virginia, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, California, and Arizona.
There are some caveats to the list and some relate to specific counties. For instance in Florida, those that are homeless in Alachua County could claim meals at certain restaurants that accept EBT. Certain counties in Illinois also offer the use of a food stamp card for claiming fast food which includes DeWitt County, Franklin County, and Cook County. There are even specific zip codes in Illinois that take EBT including 60617, 60619, 60620, and 60628.
Locating The Restaurants That Accept EBT Cards Locally:
So if you live in a state that participates in the RMP and you meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is finding out which specific restaurants will accept your EBT card. There are three methods of finding those local restaurants that participate. The above-mentioned chain restaurants do as well, but many local small businesses may accept EBT/SNAP as well, so it’s worth trying the below methods to locate them.
The first is to use the SNAP Retailer Locator tool which is an online facility provided by the USDA. Just type in your zip code and the map will list those participating restaurants that accept SNAP benefits and the ones in the RMP.
Another tool is the Providers app which you can download and then use the map to look for those participating restaurants. You can even use the filter button to highlight the food pantries on a handy street map.
Finally, for those who are not tech-savvy or have ready access to the internet, there is a more old-fashioned method. You can just look for the ‘We Accept EBT’ sign in a restaurant’s window as evidence of their participation.
Final Thoughts & Wrap-Up
If you are eligible for the RMP and have an EBT card then research which restaurants in your area are participating — of course as mentioned before many chain restaurants are participating in the RMP include some very well-known restaurants including McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King.
If your state does not currently participate in the RMP then contact your elected officials as there could be plans to involve the state in the program, and anyone eligible could benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we’ll go over the FAQ’s we’ve been asked, or encountered, or even had asked ourselves about using EBT/SNAP at Restaurants — If you have other questions feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can — and likely even add our answer down below.
How could I signal my interest in the RMP if my state is yet to participate?
The RMP is a program that is dealt with on a state-by-state basis. If the state that you live in is yet to participate in the RMP, you can get in touch with your state elected official to detail your interest in the program and how it would benefit you. You can contact that individual and your federal or local elected officials via USA.gov’s How To Contact Your Elected Officials page.
How do restaurants become eligible to participate in the RMP?
There are certain criteria to be met for individuals to participate in the RMP, and criteria for the restaurants themselves to be involved. Firstly, the restaurant simply has to be in a state that has the RMP and must gain that state’s approval with a signed authorization from the body known as the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
It is the FNS that provides authorization to the restaurant that they can accept SNAP benefits as payment. Finally, it is not the restaurant’s responsibility to check if the SNAP client is eligible for the program as the EBT card would be declined if they are not eligible.
Can you use EBT/SNAP for food delivery services?
In some cases you can, however it’s quite a complex topic just like this is with lots of considerations to be had — we have a dedicated article on getting food delivered with EBT/SNAP, but in short you can get food delivered in some states, most even, however generally traditional food delivery apps do not participate in the program and you’ll have to order from grocery stores delis and meal-delivery services rather than restaurants.