For people with access to government food assistance, it can be confusing to know whether you can use your electronic benefits transfer card (or EBT) at certain food businesses such as Subway.
If this is something you’ve ever wondered about, and specifically if you’ve ever been curious whether you can use an EBT at Subway, keep reading! I will answer all your questions!
Does Subway Take EBT In 2023?
Subway allows purchases with EBT in certain instances that vary between states as of 2023. Your state might have a program, called the Restaurant Meals Program (or RMP), that allows EBT to be used on certain purchases at Subway. Only a few states currently have an RMP in place, so the list of participating Subways is pretty short.
If you have more questions about using EBT at Subway and other locations, keep on reading!
Can You Buy Fast Food With EBT?
Yes, in some cases, you can use an EBT to purchase fast food. However, this is not true across the board, and it varies depending on several factors.
For example, one of these factors includes whether you qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program, which is available in some states for certain people, such as the elderly, homeless, and disabled.
Also, not every fast food establishment participates in this program, and neither does every state.
So, the best way to find out if your state participates in this program is to contact your local agency in charge of food stamps.
In general, food stamps or SNAP benefits are reserved for food purchases that are not ready-made.
So, this would exclude fast food in most cases except for those categories of the population mentioned above.
Where Can I Use My EBT Card?
Food stamps are normally used for buying food in a grocery store setting. Therefore, many restaurants do not accept EBT as payment. However, many other restaurants do accept EBT.
That said, the fast-food restaurants that accept EBT will differ depending on whether your state has an RMP in place.
Currently, the list of states that participate in an RMP is quite short therefore limiting the options.
The states that currently participate in the restaurant meals program include the following:
- Rhode Island (in certain counties)
- California (also in select counties)
- Arizona (currently the only state with statewide RMP coverage)
Additionally, other states are considering adding RMP so that this list may be longer in the future.
For the time being, however, most states don’t have this program. So, most restaurants across the country do not allow EBT payment.
Is Subway Part Of The Restaurant Meals Program?
In the list of states that participate in the RMP, Subway is on the list of approved fast-food restaurants. As noted above, these states are California, Arizona, and Rhode Island.
If you happen to be at a Subway in one of these participating states, you can look for a knife and fork logo on the door or window, which indicates whether or not the Subway accepts EBT.
Also, another way to tell if your local Subway accepts EBT is the words “EBT accepted” or something similar posted on a window or elsewhere.
Can You Buy Cooked Food With An EBT Card?
Generally speaking, an EBT card is reserved for non-cooked foods. With that, the list of approved foods is long and includes items such as the following:
- Bread and cereal
- Produce such as fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products
- Meat and fish
- Some bottled beverages
- Seeds and plants that grow food (for example, cucumber seeds or plants)
On the other hand, items you cannot buy with food stamps (EBT) include the following:
- Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, etc
- Tobacco products such as cigarettes
- Non-food items such as dog and cat food
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food you eat in the store
- Hot food or already prepared food
Check your state’s guidelines for more information about the list of approved or non-approved grocery store items.
While Subway is on the list of participating fast-food restaurants that allow EBT in a few select states, EBT will not be an acceptable form of payment in most places.
If you are uncertain whether your county or state has a program in place for allowing EBT, check with your local agency that runs food stamp assistance.
For the most part, however, the food assistance program is in place for grocery store purchases and does not include ready-made, hot meals such as one would buy at a restaurant.
If your state has a restaurant meals program (RMP), you may qualify if you are disabled, homeless, or elderly, in which case, select restaurants, including some Subways, may accept your EBT.