EBT is the government’s mechanism, in partnership with many food sellers, of bringing nutrition to Americans who would not otherwise afford it.
The government’s most significant associates in the EBT program are grocery stores, but select restaurants can participate under the RMP. Read on to find out if Chick-Fil-A is a participant!
Does Chick-Fil-A Take EBT In 2023?
Unfortunately, Chick-Fil-A does not accept EBT as it is not a participant under the RMP in 2023. Customers dependent on EBT and who qualify under the RMP can buy from Burger King, Del Taco, Domino’s Pizza, etc. Find out from your local SNAP/EBT office if your state has the RMP and the participating restaurants.
Stay with me to find out where else you can buy food using EBT, how to know if you qualify under the RMP, and much more!
Can I Use My EBT Card to Buy Food From Chick-Fil-A?
Unfortunately, Chick-Fil-A does not accept EBT cards as payment for any product.
Since the food items sold by Chick-Fil-A would not qualify for SNAP benefits under normal circumstances, it needs to be eligible under the RMP.
Under the RMP, restaurants can sell hot, ready-to-eat food to people for whom cooking would present an extra challenge, such as homeless people.
Chick-Fil-A is yet to make an application to participate under the RMP, even in the states where that program is provided for.
Does Chick-Fil-A Qualify for the RMP?
Chick-Fil-A does not qualify to provide RMP services and accept EBT payments.
To qualify, a restaurant must meet the following conditions:
- The restaurant must go through a two-tier application process where it completes an MOU with the relevant state authorities in an RMP qualified state, and:
- Seek approval to participate in the Food Assistance Program from the USDA as a food retailer.
- The restaurant must have dining facilities available on the premises
- The restaurant must be fully accessible to persons with disability
- The restaurant must be in good standing with all the relevant laws and regulations
- The restaurant must provide low-cost meals
- The restaurant must have a Point Of Sale device for use by eligible recipients
All restaurants that have more than one outlet must complete all these requirements for every outlet.
Chick-Fil-A is a franchise, which means it doesn’t have total control of all its outlets, and applying for RMP certification would be cumbersome and expensive.
Further, the restaurant primarily serves takeaway meals, disqualifying it from the program. Establishing dining facilities would be too expensive.
Lastly, though you do not need to break the bank to afford a Chick-Fil-A meal, it can hardly be considered a low cost.
In any case, its food prices are set by market forces.
In Which Restaurants Can I Use My EBT Card If Not At Chick-Fil-A?
You can use your EBT card to buy food at any fast food restaurant participant under the RMP.
Here is a list of some of the fast-food restaurants that accept EBT cards:
- Burger King
- Del Taco
- Domino’s Pizza
- Pizza Hut
- Taco Bell
- El Pollo Loco
- Jack in the Box
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Uncle Sam’s
The list is by no means exhaustive, as the actual figure is well over 3000 fast-food restaurants in the three states that have the RMP.
You can find out what restaurant near you accepts EBT cards by enquiring from your local SNAP benefits office.
What States Have the RMP?
The RMP is optional and is administered at the state level after applying to the USDA.
The state must demonstrate that it has mechanisms to ensure the aid will reach the vulnerable people it’s intended for.
Thus far, only four states are part of the RMP, through which EBT beneficiaries who cannot cook can buy ready-to-eat food.
These states include California, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Arizona.
The participating counties in California are Almeda, Los Angelos, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.
Of the three states, only Arizona operates the program statewide. Only two counties use it in Rhode Island, while 17 counties in California do so.
The states of Illinois, Maryland, and New York have applied to the USDA to be part of the RMP and bring the greater utility of the SNAP system to their citizens.
How Do I Qualify for the EBT Under the RMP?
EBT does not allow for the purchase of ready-to-eat hot food. Rather, you must buy and cook all the food at home.
However, some people are in such circumstances that cooking is not an option or is a great inconvenience.
To qualify for EBT under the RMP, you must be one such person and fulfill the following conditions:
- Your state must be a participant in the RMP, and you must qualify for SNAP benefits
- You must be 60 years or older
- You must have a permanent disability and must be receiving disability-related payments or retirement benefits because it is certified permanent
- You must be homeless
- You must be the spouse of a person who qualifies for RMP
Keep in mind that you do not have to fall under all the qualifications. It is enough to satisfy just one condition.
How Do I Use My EBT Card to Buy Food From a Restaurant?
You use your EBT Card the same way you use it to buy groceries. You go to the point of sale designated for the use of the card.
Present it after doing your shopping, and key in your password after the card has been inserted into the machine.
The cashier will then make a receipt for you, indicating the cost of your purchases and your balance.
Chick-Fil-A doesn’t accept EBT cards, since it is not a participant in the RMP. However, those who qualify to use the RMP services have a host of other options to resort to.
Currently, you can use your EBT card at Burger King, Del Taco, Domino’s Pizza, Popeye’s, Pizza Hut, Denny’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, KFC, Papa John’s Pizza, and Uncle Sam’s.