Whole Foods Market is a supermarket that focuses on organic and natural foods.
Unlike most other grocery stores, it offers food without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and hydrogenated fats. Additionally, it has the distinction of being USDA-Certified Organic.
However, these natural food options can be quite expensive. For low-income families, gaining access to the items Whole Foods sells can be challenging.
If you’re an EBT user, you may wonder: Does Whole Foods take EBT?
Well, you’re in luck. In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know so you can use your EBT cards at Whole Foods Market.
The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card is a type of debit card that individuals can use to purchase food items and other essentials.
You will get an EBT card if you are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP is a form of support from the government for low-income families to be able to access nutritious food. It’s an upgraded version of food stamps.
Yes, Whole Foods accepts EBT. The retail shop has made a deliberate effort to give low-income families accessibility to its items.
All Whole Foods locations accept EBT. However, there are restrictions on what you can buy.
EBT-eligible items at Whole Foods include all grocery food items. However, this doesn’t include ready-made or prepared food.
Here are some items you can get with electronic food stamps.
- Veggies and fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- Cooking oils
- Poultry, fish, and meat, such as turkey, catfish, pork, tuna, or deli meat
- Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and almond milk
- Cereals and bread (like pita bread, rye bread, tortillas, pasta, bagels, and rice)
- Supplementary foods, such as snacks
- Alcohol-free beverages
- Food-producing seeds and plants for the household
Your EBT card only covers specific things because not all products are EBT-eligible. Here are the items that are not eligible for EBT purchases.
- Beer, wine, alcohol, tobacco, or cigarettes
- Supplements, medications, and vitamins
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from the water, and animals slaughtered before pickup from the store)
- Hot foods at the time of sale
- Non-food items, such as cleaning products, paper-based goods, pet food, hygiene supplies, and cosmetics
Here are the steps for using your EBT card at Whole Foods.
Bring your EBT card and any other forms of identification when you first visit the store. Acceptable identification can be an identity card or a community service card.
Tell the cashier you wish to use your EBT card. Make sure your ID is available because they will ask to see it.
They might also request the EBT card’s back barcode number. Inform them what line on their computer displays that information if they don’t have it already, and they will be able to locate it without any issues.
The cashier will scan your purchases at the register. The computer will then determine whether you can use your EBT card to pay for those items.
If you have insufficient funds on your EBT card, you might not be able to cover the total cost of your purchases. In that case, you can make up the difference with an alternative payment method.
Currently, you can’t use your EBT card when purchasing items from the Whole Foods online store.
However, there is still a way to purchase Whole Foods items online with your EBT card, which I’ll discuss below.
Customers can buy Whole Foods items on Amazon through the Amazon Fresh delivery service using their EBT cards.
However, there’s a caveat.
Look for the 365 Whole Foods brands—these are the Whole Foods selections that you can buy with your EBT card. If you try to buy the same product from Whole Foods Market on Amazon using your EBT card, you won’t be able to do it.
And again, keep in mind that you can only use your EBT card for SNAP-eligible food items.
Whole Foods charges a $9.95 service fee for all delivery orders on this platform. But pickup is free on orders above $35.
Remember that you can’t use your EBT card to pay for service and delivery fees, so you’ll have to use a different payment method to cover those.
Using EBT on Amazon for Whole Foods deliveries gives you the following perks:
- No Prime Membership Required: EBT cardholders don’t need to be Prime members to use their EBT card on the Amazon Fresh delivery service.
- Free delivery for orders of $35: If your order goes beyond $35, you won’t have to pay extra for delivery fees.
- 50% discount on Amazon Prime membership: EBT cardholders who want to be Prime members can get a half-off price for membership.
Suppose the cost of your purchases exceeds the balance on your EBT card. In that case, you can make up the difference with an alternative payment method.
The government reloads your EBT cash account each month, but it’s crucial to always be aware of your balance. You don’t want to find yourself in the awkward situation of being unable to pay for your purchases at the store.
You can track your account at an ATM if you need clarification on how much money is on your card.
You may also contact the EBT customer service line to get a good idea of how much you can spend when shopping.
Like SNAP, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program gives low-income families vouchers to purchase groceries and nutritious food for their kids.
Participants in WIC can use their vouchers to buy food at any local merchant or grocery store that accepts them.
However, WIC is only available in some places. If you want to make sure, check with your local benefits agency or contact Whole Foods Market.
Fortunately, you can still use your EBT if Whole Foods does not allow WIC.
Whole Foods Market stores are a great source of nutritious foods, even for those with EBT cards.
With your SNAP benefits, you can buy a wide range of quality foods from any Whole Foods Market store. You can even purchase the store’s products online via Amazon.
Hopefully, my article has shown you what items you can buy with your EBT card and how you can use it in any Whole Foods store.
If you want to find out where else you can use your EBT card, check out my guide on using your EBT at Starbucks.