Yes, We Take Credit Cards, Cash, Check, and Food Stamps . . . ?

7 Sep
food stamps accepted, ebt

Restaurants like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are lobbying to be able to accept food stamps as payment.

Currently there are over 45 million people on food stamps in the United States and this number has been increasing steadily due to the recession and recent natural disasters. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with more and more people relying on food stamps, the amount of places that are accepting food stamps has increased by 33% from 2005 to 2010.

Historically restaurants have not been a part of the group that accepted food stamps – now more commonly known as Electronic Bill Transfers – because in addition to the social stigma that comes with food stamps there are certain requirements vendors must meet in order for them to be redeemed as a form of payment. One of the following two conditions must be met:

  • You must sell a variety of staple foods in each of four food categories:
    • dairy products
    • breads, grains, & cereals
    • fruits & vegetables
    • meat, fish & poultry
  • OR if more than 50% of your store’s gross retails sales comes from the sale of one of more staple foods. In this case staple foods do not include coffee, tea, candy, soft drinks, snack foods, or prepared items.

In the 1970’s the federal government delegated individual states the power to decide whether or not food chains should accept food stamps from the elderly, disabled, and homeless. Four states, Arizona, California, Michigan, and Florida, are currently accepting food stamps at restaurants. Just recently the YUM! restaurant group, the company that owns Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s, KFC, & Pizza Hut, is lobbying to try to get more restaurants involved.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is backing YUM! and why shouldn’t they? They recently launched their new initiative, Kids Live Well, which will provide healthier options at fast food chains which means that those who rely on food stamps could take advantage of the improved menu items. Take our poll, what do you think about Electronic Bill Transfers (EBT) as an acceptable form of payment at restaurants?

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