Many SNAP recipients looking for healthy food choices may be wondering, “does Whole Foods take EBT?”
After all, Whole Foods is known for selling food products that are free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It’s also a USDA Certified Organic grocer in the United States.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in North America. But, can you use food stamps there?
In today’s post, I’ll cover whether or not Whole Foods is one of the many grocery stores that accept EBT.
What will I learn?
What is EBT?
An Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card is given to people who’re enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP is designed to help low-income individuals and families with the cost of purchasing a variety of food and drink items. Basically, SNAP benefits can provide some financial relief.
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SNAP benefits are delivered to families through the EBT card. Basically, as a SNAP recipient, you can use your EBT card to purchase items just as you would with a regular debit card. But, there’s a difference. The EBT card can only be used to purchase SNAP-eligible items, meaning you won’t be able to purchase all products using the card.
I’ll cover which types of items you can purchase below.
Your EBT card is a plastic payment card that has a security PIN and a magnetic strip. The card can be used at authorized stores, so not all stores are indeed eligible.
Does Whole Foods Accept EBT?
Yes, Whole Foods takes EBT at all of its stores throughout the United States.
However, not all items are covered. EBT cards can only be used to purchase SNAP-eligible items. Just what are those?
What can you buy with an EBT card at Whole Foods?
You can use your EBT card to purchase items that are eligible for SNAP benefits. Now, SNAP is designed for cold foods that you prepare yourself at home. So you won’t be able to use your card to purchase any hot foods that can be eaten on the premises or in your car, for example. So, what does that leave?
Here’s what you can purchase with food stamps:
- Fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- Cooking oils
- Meat, poultry, and fish (things like turkey, tuna, catfish, deli meat, or pork)
- Dairy products (like cheese, milk, and almond milk).
- Breads and cereals (like pita bread, rye bread, tortillas, pasta, bagels, and rice).
- Other foods such as snack foods
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat
So, there are quite a lot of options here, just not foods that are hot at the point of sale. That’s not the only exception either. There are other things you can’t purchase using your EBT card.
What can’t you buy with an EBT card at Whole Foods?
Not all items are covered by your EBT card because only certain items are SNAP eligible.
Here’s what you can’t use your EBT to purchase:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Foods that are hot when sold.
- Non-food items, such as:
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper products
- Pet foods
- Hygiene items
Does Whole Foods Take EBT Online?
Okay, so it’s great that you can use your EBT card in Whole Foods stores to get stuff like cakes, chips, meat, and dairy products. But, what if you don’t want to head out to the store? What if you instead want to shop online and have your groceries delivered right to your home?
If you’re wanting to order your food online, rather than shop in-store, then you might be wondering whether Whole Foods takes EBT online.
Sadly, Whole Foods doesn’t take EBT online in most locations.
However, there is still a way for you to get your Whole Foods favorites delivered to your home, and it’s all to do with Amazon. This brings us to the next section…
Does Whole Foods take EBT on Amazon?
Although households who participate in the SNAP program can’t purchase eligible food online from Whole Foods Market using their EBT card, many Whole Foods products are indeed available through the Amazon.com groceries and Amazon Fresh delivery programs.
Customers can use their EBT card to purchase items on Amazon.com and through Amazon Fresh.
Amazon Fresh works like your regular online grocery store, and you can have a variety of grocery items delivered to you, including perishable, shelf-stable, and household products, and is available in select regions. Although Amazon Fresh is typically only available to Prime members, Amazon is making Amazon Fresh selection available to customers who shop with an EBT card in eligible regions without Prime membership fees.
You can get free delivery on Amazon Fresh orders by purchasing $35 or more ($50 in select regions) of eligible items.
You can also place a smaller order and pay a shipping fee. But you can’t use your EBT card to pay for the shipping fee, so you would need to provide an alternate form of payment if you don’t meet the free shipping minimum. With Amazon Fresh, customers are able to schedule their preferred delivery time within a 1 or 2 hour delivery window, as early as the same day.
You can also use your EBT card on Amazon groceries. The Grocery and Gourmet Food category on Amazon features pantry staples, shelf-stable food, and household items, and is available nationwide. If you are a Prime member, you will get free shipping.
If you’re not a Prime member, then you can still get free delivery on Amazon.com grocery orders by purchasing $25 or more of eligible items. Or you could place a smaller order and pay a shipping fee. However, you can’t use your EBT card to pay for the shipping fee, so you will need to provide an alternate form of payment.
So, you can use EBT for Whole Food delivery by ordering online via Amazon.
If you want to use your EBT card at Whole Foods, you can do in-store, and if you want to order your groceries, then Amazon gives you a way to get your Whole Foods favorites online using your EBT card too.
Your SNAP benefits can be used to purchase a huge variety of items from Whole Foods Market, such as bread, milk, yogurt, cooking oils, and pasta. So, next time you’re at Whole Foods, it’s good to know that you can use your EBT card to purchase your groceries.