In the United States, the federally authorized food assistance program allows recipients to purchase only food and non-alcoholic beverages. Benefits for food are distributed through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was previously called the Food Stamp Program.
State welfare departments can issue benefits electronically via an encoded payment card referred to as an Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT. Participants of EBT receive approximately $125 per month on average.
As Starbucks drinks are considered non-alcoholic beverages, it begs the question; Does Starbucks Take EBT?
It is against the Starbucks policy to accept EBT cards, and they will never accept them at individual stores owned by the franchise. But it is not so much by choice of Starbucks, as it is that the government considers Starbucks a luxury brand and would like to encourage EBT recipients to get more bang for their buck.
However, there is a loophole. There are Starbuck kiosks and shops inside larger retail shops – some of which may accept an EBT card. This will, however, be on a case-by-case basis and depend heavily on the policy of the retailer in question. The best way to find out is to call ahead and confirm if you are not sure.
The Restriction On EBT Cards
As beforementioned, EBT cards cannot be used to buy alcohol or non-food items. They also can not be used to buy hot drinks or warm food. In this case, Starbucks kiosks and shops inside larger retailers will also not be able to accept payment via EBT card for any hot food or coffee items.
The EBT eligible items:
- Animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.
- Grain products and cereals.
- Snacks and confectionery.
- Agricultural seeds and plants used in growing a household’s food.
- Iced coffee, soft drinks.
How To Apply For An EBT Benefit Card
If you are interested in SNAP benefits, please contact your local human services office. The staff there will be able to help you determine if you qualify. You can search for your state’s SNAP directory here.
To be eligible, you have the following criteria will be taken into account:
As a general rule, the household’s gross monthly income must be at or below 130% of the poverty line. In the federal fiscal year 2023, the poverty line for calculating SNAP benefits is $1830 per month for a family of three. The 130% of the poverty line, therefore, corresponds to $2379 a month, or an annual rate of about $28 550 for a three-person family.
For larger families, the poverty level is higher; for smaller families, it is lower.
Read more: Can Felons Get Welfare?
Assets must fall below certain limits, households without elderly (aged 60+) or disabled members must have assets of $2500 or less, and households with elderly or disabled members must have assets of $3,750 or less.
Do You Love Your Coffee In The Morning?
Then, why not work in a place that brews your favorite drink? So, check out my Starbucks Application and Starbucks Interview Questions, along with my Starbucks Barista Interview Questions. If you have a criminal record, you’ll want to check up on Does Starbucks do Drug Tests and Does Starbucks Hire Felons?
If alternative coffee shops are an option, then you’ll want to take a look at our Gloria Jeans Coffees Application, our Caribou Coffee Application, or how about our Peet’s Coffee and Tea Application, as well as our Which Wich Application, The Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Application, and perhaps our Brueggers Bagels Application for some great choices!
For the aspiring baristas, we found these great online books such as The Home Barista: How to Bring Out the Best in Every Coffee Bean, and The Coffee Book: Barista tips & recipes from around the world, or my top choice, the Top 100 Coffee Recipes: A Cookbook for Coffee Lovers, and lastly, The Ultimate Coffee Bar Cookbook for Coffee Lovers all available in 2023.
Does Starbucks Take EBT – Final Thoughts
Starbucks tends to be quite expensive in general. So, buying anything from them, even if not coffee, can get quite pricy. Even when they are just a kiosk inside a large retailer.
Therefore, you may be better off using your EBT card at the retailer itself, or at grocery stores that offer food at lower prices.
Enjoy your next cuppa joe at Starbucks or wherever?