Fast Food Purchase with Food Stamps – Yes

In four states, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and California, recipients of food stamps are allowed to purchase fast food items. The main reason these states allow this is to help indigent people such as homeless, disabled and elderly (age 60 and over) people who have no means of providing warm food for themselves. Other states are starting to consider joining the band wagon. Oklahoma is one of them.

Food Stamp Purchase Guidelines

Food stamp purchase guidelines vary from state to state. Only food items can be purchased with food stamps. A current list of items states that do not allow fast food purchases that food stamp recipients can purchase are:  fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods at grocery stores. Other items are non-alcoholic beverages, edible plants, herbs, organic produce and seeds for growing fruits and vegetables. More items are:  baby formula, goat’s milk, Pedialyte and Pediasure, meals prepared and delivered by meal delivery services (Meals on Wheels), meals prepared in soup kitchens and nutritional supplements (Boost, Ensure, Isomil and Sustacal). Other items listed are:  weight loss products (Slim Fast, Cambridge Diet and Nutrisystem), artificial sweeteners, distilled water, ice, cooking sprays and prepared sandwiches or salads that are not eaten in the store. (http//

Businesses that will accept the food stamps are grocery stores, convenience stores and farmer’s market vendors. Food stamps cannot be used in trade for non-food items, fast food, food sold in restaurants, edible food that can be eaten in grocery stores, tobacco, drugs or alcohol. (

Applying for Food Stamps

The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also called Department of Social Services (DSS) in some states. People who need to apply for the food stamps SNAP program, can apply in person, by mail or  on-line through the state DHHS website. They can also print an application which will require you to provide proof of your monthly income, personal information of the members of the household and a list of current owned assets. You will be given an EBT card or SNAP card if you qualify. (

The idea of using food stamps to pay for fast food in states that do not accept them intice people to find different ways to get around the restriction. In Missouri, Domino’s Pizza sells the pizzas made but have not been baked yet. Because the food is uncooked it does not break the federal regulation. (

Yum! Brands, out of Louisville, KY owner of restaurants which include:  Taco Bell, KFC, McDonald’s, Subway plus others is lobbying for inclusion in the fast-food food stamp program. The four states that do accept food stamps have websites listed on the Internet of which fast food restaurants already accept food stamps for meals. (

Listed below are the websites:

Michigan (,1607,7-124-5455_7034_7333-84112-,oo.html)

California (

Florida (

Arizona (

Why should poor people not be allowed to eat out with their families occassionally at a fast food restaurant?