In today’s fast-paced world, meal kits have become increasingly popular for their convenience and variety. But for those using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), finding meal kits that accept EBT can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll explore the world of meal kits and EBT, including available options and how to make the most of your benefits.
The Basics of EBT and SNAP
EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a system that allows recipients of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to access their benefits electronically. SNAP is a federal program that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families in purchasing nutritious food. EBT cards work like debit cards, making it easy for recipients to pay for groceries at participating retailers.
How EBT Works
When you’re approved for SNAP, you’ll receive an EBT card loaded with your monthly benefits. You can use your EBT card at any authorized retailer that accepts EBT, including grocery stores and some farmers’ markets. The card works like a debit card, so you’ll simply swipe it at the register to pay for your eligible food items.
Are There Any Meal Kits That Accept EBT?
Yes, there are meal kits that accept EBT.
The good news is that there are many options for people who want to use their EBT benefits for meal kits. The bad news is that there are also many options for people who don’t want to use their EBT benefits for meal kits, which means you’ll have to do some research to find a service that accepts your card.
The best meal kit delivery services accept EBT cards and offer discounted meals to eligible customers. Here are some examples:
Blue Apron offers a $20 discount off your first order when you apply for an EBT card, and it also offers a 15% discount off your first order if you’re on WIC or SNAP.
HelloFresh offers $35 off your first two weeks of meals when you apply for an E-Benefits account and use promo code HELLO35 at checkout. You’ll also get free delivery with your first three weeks of meals if you’re a WIC recipient or have an EBT card from any state except California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts or New York (but hey — there are plenty of other options!).
SNAP Eligible Food Items
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase a wide variety of food items, including:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food
However, there are some restrictions on what you can buy with your EBT card. You cannot use your SNAP benefits to purchase:
- Hot, prepared foods
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Vitamins and supplements
- Non-food items, such as cleaning supplies or pet food
Meal Kits and EBT
Meal kits are pre-portioned, ready-to-cook meals delivered right to your doorstep. They typically include all the ingredients needed to prepare a meal, along with step-by-step instructions. Meal kits have gained popularity in recent years for their convenience, variety, and ability to help people learn new cooking skills.
Can You Use EBT for Meal Kits?
Unfortunately, most meal kit services do not currently accept EBT as a form of payment. This is because meal kits are considered prepared foods, which are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. However, there are some exceptions and alternatives for those who want to use their EBT benefits for meal kits.
Meal Kit Options That Accept EBT
Currently, there are a few meal kit options that accept EBT:
- Full Cart: Full Cart is a meal kit service that provides non-perishable, shelf-stable meal kits to families in need. They accept EBT as a form of payment and offer a variety of meal options, including pasta, rice, and soup dishes. Full Cart also provides free shipping on all orders, making it a convenient and affordable option for those using EBT.
- Local Food Banks and Pantries: Some food banks and pantries offer meal kits or pre-packaged meals that can be purchased with EBT. Check with your local food bank or pantry to see if they have any meal kit options available.
Making the Most of Your EBT Benefits with Meal Planning
While it may be disappointing that most meal kit services do not accept EBT, there are still ways to make the most of your SNAP benefits by planning and preparing meals at home.
- Create a meal plan: Plan your meals for the week, taking into account your EBT budget and any sales or discounts at your local grocery store.
- Shop smart: Look for deals on fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains to stretch your EBT dollars further.
- Cook in bulk: Prepare large batches of meals that can be easily portioned and frozen for later use.
- Get creative: Use your SNAP benefits to try new recipes and ingredients, expanding your cooking skills and creating variety in your meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use my EBT card for meal delivery services like DoorDash or Uber Eats?
No, EBT cards cannot be used for meal delivery services like DoorDash or Uber Eats. These services are considered prepared food delivery, which is not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.
2. Are there any meal kit services that accept EBT for online orders?
Currently, Full Cart is the only meal kit service that accepts EBT for online orders. Other meal kit services do not accept EBT due to the prepared food restrictions of the SNAP program.
3. Can I use my EBT card at farmers’ markets?
Yes, many farmers’ markets accept EBT cards as a form of payment. This can be a great way to purchase fresh, locally grown produce and support your local farmers.
4. Are there any resources for finding meal kit options that accept EBT?
You can check with your local food bank or pantry to see if they offer any meal kit options that can be purchased with EBT. Additionally, Full Cart is a meal kit service that accepts EBT for online orders.
5. Can I use EBT to purchase meal kits at a grocery store?
Some grocery stores offer meal kits that can be purchased with EBT. Check with your local grocery store to see if they have any meal kit options available and if they accept EBT as a form of payment.
Although most meal kit services do not currently accept EBT, there are still options available for those who want to use their SNAP benefits for meal kits. Full Cart is a meal kit service that accepts EBT, and some local food banks and pantries may offer meal kits or pre-packaged meals that can be purchased with EBT. By planning and preparing meals at home, you can still make the most of your EBT benefits and enjoy a variety of nutritious meals.