According to data, 13.9% of households are either food insecure or struggle to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. To bridge the “nutrition gap,” the federal government, through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), runs the nation’s anti-hunger program—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP is a federal program that helps low-income families and other disadvantaged populations, such as the homeless, the elderly, and those with disabilities, by supplementing their food budgets. SNAP is administered at the state level for ease of administration and a wider reach.
Today, SNAP agencies in almost all states use electronic accounts to distribute benefits and other forms of government aid, like TANF. Once you qualify to receive government aid, you’re issued an (EBT) card that you use to access and spend your food stamp benefits.
The issue is that SNAP participants cannot spend their funds on everything. The USDA maintains a list of what you can and can’t buy with your food stamps. It prevents recipients from splurging on non-essential things with their EBT cards. For example, SNAP guidelines prevent users from purchasing hot cooked meals with their EBT card at the time of sale. Fast-food establishments, such as McDonalds, primarily sell hot and ready-to-eat meals.
That said, SNAP allows recipients to buy cold food items like take-and-bake pizza, chicken products, bread, sandwiches, snacks, salads, and soft drink beverages that can be carried and prepared at home. In addition, you can find a few SNAP-eligible items at fast food places like In The Box (Jack), Wendy’s, Starbucks or Subway.
McDonalds is a fast food restaurant.
McDonalds is the world’s most profitable restaurant chain, famous for its hamburgers. It operates almost 38,000 fast-food restaurants in more than 100 countries, with more than 14,000 in the United States. Burgers, french fries, soft drinks, wraps, cheeseburgers, milkshakes, fish, salads, sandwiches, desserts, wraps, smoothies, and fruits are all available on their famous $1, $2, $3 Dollar Menu.
What a great place to eat! , Americans are within 115 miles of a McDonald’s. With over 14,000 locations in the US, you’re pretty sure to find a McDonald’s within a driving distance and buy a value meal. After all, it takes energy to build a seven-figure nest egg. Plus, you can’t $10,000 in savings emergency fund on an empty stomach.
McDonald’s is also among the 24-hour restaurant locations you can visit anytime if you get caught in a jam-packed schedule and can’t cook at night.
For the more than in the country, finding a McDonald’s that takes food stamps is a blessing. It’s especially true for the elderly, the disabled, and the homeless who can’t cook or don’t have the means to carry and prepare food at home.
Is it possible to use an EBT card at McDonald’s?
Short Answer: You can use an EBT card at McDonald’s if you live in a state that participates in the (RMP). That’s because McDonald’s only accepts EBT in select states that extend SNAP through the RMP. It allows disadvantaged SNAP recipients to purchase hot and prepared foods. Unfortunately, only a few states participate in the RMP, including California, Arizona, Michigan, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Illinois. Specifically, McDonald’s only takes EBT cards at select locations in California and Arizona.
Only a few SNAP-approved McDonalds outlets accept EBT cards in the states that participate in the restaurant meals program. McDonald’s, for example, does not accept EBT cards in Rhode Island, Illinois, Michigan, or Maryland. Even in California and Arizona, which have the most comprehensive RMPs, not every McDonald’s accepts EBT cards. Hence, even if you and your state are both members of the RMP, you won’t be able to use your card at McDonald’s unless you find an RMP-approved fast food joint.
While SNAP authorities in each state decide whether restaurants or stores should be approved for the RMP, this is largely at their discretion. As a result, the issue isn’t McDonald’s, but rather your state’s RMP requirements. McDonald’s will gladly accept your food stamps and serve you the hamburger if your state allows it.
That said, RMP-approved McDonald’s locations in Arizona and California only take EBT cards for in-store purchases. You cannot use EBT payments for McDonald’s online or the mobile app to order food delivery or pickup via UberEats, DoorDash, or Just Eats. For example, to order a hamburger online, you’ll have to use another payment method like a Chip-enabled debit/credit card.
McDonald’s does not accept EBT cards in most states, according to Frugal Realities. In California and Arizona, just a few McDonald’s outlets accept EBT cards. Furthermore, you can only utilize your EBT benefits at a RMP-approved fast food establishment if you live in a state that participates.
Does McDonald’s Take EBT?
- Does McDonald’s Take EBT?
- What McDonald’s That Accept EBT Near Me?
- What Food Can You Buy at McDonald’s with Food Stamps?
- What Food Can’t You Buy at McDonald’s with Food Stamps?
- Can you use EBT on DoorDash Fast Food Delivery?
- What Forms of Payment Does McDonald’s Take?
- Does McDonald’s Accept TANF Benefits?
- What are the Benefits that You Can Get with TANF?
- Can I Use My Card for Cash and Pay for Food Together?
- Does McDonald Accept EBT Summary
Generally, McDonald’s doesn’t take EBT cards in most states. Only a few in California and Arizona take EBT as a payment method for in-store purchases.
SNAP rules typically prohibit users from spending their benefits on hot, ready-to-eat food at the checkout. SNAP benefits can only be used on staple foods and grocery items that you can transport and cook at home.
You can also purchase healthy foods like seafood, discount meat, and cold foods like meal delivery kits and non-alcoholic beverages that you can quickly warm or prepare at home. The rules are meant to discourage SNAP recipients from splurging their food stamps on expensive, non-essential luxuries.
It causes challenges for the elderly, homeless, and disabled persons who are unable to cook or do not have the means to transport and prepare meals at home. The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) was designed to address this issue. The RMP enables SNAP beneficiaries who are homeless, elderly, or disabled to eat out in restaurants.
While federal regulations permit it, SNAP allows individual states to select who qualifies for the program and which businesses to approve. The problem is that the RMP is only implemented in a few states, and even in those that are, not all fast-food businesses are approved SNAP vendors.
Before a restaurant can begin collecting food stamps, it must first meet SNAP agency requirements. Sadly, fast food businesses’ food is typically categorized as unhealthy, and only a few establishments are approved to participate in the RMP by participating states.
As a result, to use your EBT card at an RMP-approved fast-food restaurant, you and your state must both participate in the RMP.
Apart for a few in Arizona and California, most of its fast food items are not RMP-approved for McDonalds. That’s why there are only a few McDonald’s in those two states that accept EBT, and you won’t be able to use your EBT there unless you live there.
What McDonald’s That Accept EBT Near Me?
Whether you live in a state with or without a restaurant meals program, you can find nearby McDonalds that accept EBT. The majority of EBT-accepting fast food establishments are centered in states that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.
If you live in Arizona or California, you can find McDonald’s restaurants that accept EBT. To purchase hot or prepared meals at a McDonalds, you must first qualify for the RMP.
McDonald’s that Take EBT near me in Arizona
Arizona has a comprehensive RMP program, and McDonalds is one of the fast-food chains that has been permitted to accept EBT at numerous locations across the state. In Arizona, there are approximately 80 McDonald’s that accept EBT.
Here’s a list of EBT-accepting McDonald’s in Arizona:
- Bullhead City
- Cave Creek
- El Mirage
- Fort Mohave
- Lake Havasu
- Show Low
- Tuba City
- Window Rock
See all , including their locations, addresses, and contact information.
McDonald’s That Accept EBT near me in California
Many McDonald’s fast food outlets in California accept EBT SNAP benefits. It’s one of the states having a comprehensive Restaurant Meals Program, with several McDonald’s locations certified.
The following is a list of counties in California that participate in the CalFresh RMP:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- Santa Cruz
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Clara
- Santa Cruz
To find specific McDonald’s locations that accept EBT in the California counties, visit the . Then, select your county and insert the keyword “McDonald’s” into the “retailer/bank name” field.
What Food Can You Buy at McDonald’s with Food Stamps?
The foods you can buy with food stamps at McDonald’s are determined by your location in a state that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP). Nonetheless, the RMP program is designed for the elderly, homeless, and disabled people who are unable to cook at home. As a result, you must also meet the RMP requirements in your state in order to use food stamps at McDonald’s.
Only a few McDonald’s outlets in Arizona and California are participating in the RMP. If you live in one of the counties listed above, you can purchase practically any food sold at RMP-approved McDonald’s fast food locations in your state. Just walk in and place an order from the menu. If you have a sufficient SNAP balance, no questions will be asked.
You can only buy cold food items that you can transport and prepare at home if you don’t qualify for the restaurant meal program in your state but live near a SNAP-approved McDonalds. It’s uncommon, but there’s no harm in giving it a shot.
Here’s a list of cold foods that are SNAP-eligible and can be purchased with food stamps at McDonald’s:
- Bread and cereals
- Crackers and chips for a snack
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese are examples of dairy products.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Salads and cold sandwiches
- Ice cream, cookies, and brownies are examples of desserts.
- Sprite, Red Bull, and Pepsi are examples of soft drinks, energy drinks, and beverages.
- Protein shakes, crushed ice, and filtered water.
If you live in a state that doesn’t take SNAP through the RMP, your case is closed —you can’t buy any food at McDonald’s with food stamps. The only way around it is to receive other forms of government aid like the (TANF).
In that case, you can withdraw your cash benefits at Quest ATMs that give out $10 and use it to buy hot food at McDonald’s. You can also get cash back on your TANF benefits at places like Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, and other The stores that give the most cash back on debit cards are listed below. purchases.
Instead, consider paying for the hamburger with a different manner. Instead, save your SNAP earnings and use them to purchase staple foods from SNAP-approved stores for home preparation.
See our guide on EBT-accepting food businesses for home delivery or pickup.
What Food Can’t You Buy at McDonald’s with Food Stamps?
You won’t be able to splurge your SNAP funds on non-essential luxuries anywhere, including McDonald’s or EBT-accepting pizza joints.
Whether or not you and your state participate in the restaurant meals program, SNAP won’t let you buy the following items at McDonald’s or wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club is a membership club that caters to:
- Selling alcoholic beverages like wine, liquor, beer, and spirits
- Cigarettes and other tobacco goods
- Vitamins and medicine
- feminine products
- Cleaning supplies
- Pet food
- Household products
Also, SNAP benefits cannot be redeemed on vacations or travel services like booking Hotels that accept payments in cash or other non-food items like lottery tickets, tattoos, and bail payments.
Can you use EBT on DoorDash Fast Food Delivery?
You cannot use EBT to order fast food from DoorDash. Many people wonder if they can use EBT on DoorDash fast food delivery because it delivers for McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants.
Unfortunately, DoorDash doesn’t accept EBT payments for food delivery or pickup orders. It’s because the app deals with hot, prepared foods which aren’t eligible for EBT payments in most states. Thus, they don’t qualify to participate in the .
That said, you can order McDonald’s delivery on McDonald’s app, DoorDash, Just Eats, and Uber Eats with . In addition, you can pay for your food with other accepted payment methods like an unexpired credit card, You have money on your Reliacard., or using a debit card without a PIN.
Simply download the or the and enter your address to see participating fast food restaurants in your area.
Recommended read: EBT-accepting fast-food restaurants that deliver.
What Forms of Payment Does McDonald’s Take?
McDonald’s does not take EBT at the majority of locations. As a result, it’s a good idea to have a backup payment option on hand before driving to your favorite fast food joint or ordering McDonald’s food delivery or pickup from the comfort of your own home.
Accepted payment methods at McDonald’s include Visa, American Express, MasterCard, and Discover. In addition, McDonald’s also accepts contactless payment methods like .
McDonald’s, on the other hand, does not take PayPal. Only by linking your PayPal account to your Android Pay or Apple Pay wallet and paying with your mobile device at the restaurant can you pay with PayPal.
Does McDonald’s Accept TANF Benefits?
It’s fine if you can’t use your EBT card or SNAP benefits at McDonald’s. Your TANF benefits may still be available to you. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) allows you to buy McDonald’s meals even if your EBT card isn’t approved.
You must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for TANF. You must be a US citizen and a sole resident of the state in which you apply. You can also be a qualified or legal alien.
You should be unemployed or underemployed, and your income should be low or very poor. In addition to this, you must have criteria such as having a kid under the age of 18, being pregnant, or being the head of the family at the age of 18 or younger.
If you meet these criteria, you can apply for TANF benefits in your state and receive government assistance.
What are the Benefits that You Can Get with TANF?
TANF was established to help children’s families that are unable to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and other necessities. The federal government funds the TANF program by providing grants to states to administer it.
The following are some of TANF’s objectives:
- assisting in the raising of children in their own or their relatives’ families
- Providing services such as career preparation, work, and marriage support to reduce parents’ reliance on the government.
- lowering the risk of unintended pregnancies outside of marriage
- Encourage the growth of two-parent households for a better family structure.
The TANF program took over from the AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) program in 1996. The government gives financial aid to qualified families through TANF.
Because the TANF program gives cash benefits to qualifying families, some retailers will give you cashback for the difference between the purchase price and the TANF amount. Some stores may also allow you to withdraw cash without making a purchase.
TANF benefits include ATM withdrawals as well. Unfortunately, the number of withdrawals and locations where you can acquire them are limited. You can only withdraw money from ATMs that do not charge a fee. Additionally, you are only allowed two free ATM withdrawals per month, with additional withdrawals costing 65 cents each.
Can I Use My Card for Cash and Pay for Food Together?
While you can use your card to make cash transactions and buy groceries, there are a few things to consider before doing so.
First and foremost, the store where you buy your food should allow you to use your card for both types of transactions.
Second, if your credit card has a transaction limit, you’ll need to keep note of how many transactions you make each month. Paying for food and making a cash transaction at the same store will be counted as two separate transactions in this situation.
Does McDonald Accept EBT Summary
McDonald’s has over 14,000 locations in the United States. That makes it a convenient place to enjoy a meal with free unlimited Internet. To use your EBT card at McDonald’s restaurants, you must live in a state that participates in the RMP and qualify for the program per your state’s requirements.
Sadly, several states do not allow SNAP to be used through the RMP. McDonald’s only accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California at the moment. So, if you reside there, check out our list above to find a RMP-approved McDonald’s near you. Then sit back and relax with your hamburger, sandwich, salad, chicken, and non-alcoholic beverages. If you do not qualify for the RMP, you may be able to purchase cold meals to carry and prepare at home at the discretion of the store manager.
EBT is not accepted as a payment method by McDelivery or the McDonalds app. As a result, you won’t be able to order McDonald’s food delivery or pickup using your EBT card through DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Just Eats. However, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards are accepted.
You won’t be able to utilize your food stamps if you live in a state that doesn’t participate in the RMP or if there isn’t an RMP-approved McDonald’s in your RMP-participating state. In that scenario, try paying with cash, debit, credit card, Reliacard, Google Pay, or Apple Pay instead of using your EBT balance for other SNAP-eligible purposes.