All Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants use EBT cards to purchase food in an authorized retail store. But not all stores are authorized to accept EBT, and if you wonder does Home Depot accept EBT, you came to the right place. Here we will explain all there is to know about the SNAP program and where you can use it.
To simply answer the question, does Home Depot accept EBT – no, it doesn’t. Most stores that don’t regularly have food inventory or don’t have food sales are ineligible for the SNAP. And even though plants and seeds that Home Depot holds can be bought with an EBT, it is still not enough for the SNAP authorization.
Still, many stores that have seeds and plants do accept EBT, so if you are planning to grow your own garden, find out where you can purchase these items.
Let’s start by explaining what Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT is. It is a card similar to a debit card that allows users of the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy food in supermarkets. It’s similar to food stamps – when you go and purchase the food with your EBT card, your account will be debited to reimburse the store for bought food. Nowadays, the Food Stamps program or SNAP doesn’t mail certificates or stamps to the users. Instead, you will receive a certain amount of money each month on your card. You can use this card to purchase only eligible food in authorized markets.
As you may know, the main goal of this program is to help struggling people make ends meet each month to purchase some essential food products. These food groups are known as staple food. Here is what is considered eligible:
- Plants and seeds,
- Meat, poultry, and fish,
- Ice and drinking water,
- Dairy products,
EBT payments are accepted at many participating stores, and most of the big grocery stores chains will accept EBT payments. And in most cases, these stores will post some sign that they are EBT eligible. Still, smaller stores may not know that some products are eligible, so it would be good to know the list of allowed items before you start shopping.
Still, you can’t purchase all items with EBT. Excluded are tobacco, alcohol, medicine, beauty products, cleaning supplies, and animals.
Even though you can not buy certain products, there are a lot of discounts on many services. For example, Amazon offers $5.99 per month for Prime membership and free two-day shipping for users of EBT or Medicaid. Also, many cell phone services and internet providers will discount low-income citizens, so make sure to ask your company if you are eligible for a discount. Another great thing is that most bike share programs offer discounts as well for all low-income citizens, so, if you are living in a city that has such a program, ask around.
As we mentioned before, in order to become a participant store that allows EBT, it needs to apply at the US Department of Agriculture for authorization. All stores must meet one of two requirements – to have staple food inventory or staple food sales. There are other criteria that apply to fast foods and restaurants, but this is only available in states that operate the Restaurant Meals Program.
A Food and Nutrition Service has strict rules and regulations all users in EBT must follow. From stores to users, the rules are clear. Even though most users of EBT play by the book, some frauds or fraudulent activities may happen. In most cases, these aren’t even cons but mistakes either made by users or stores. Take a look at what are rules and regulations.
|Regulation||What does it do?||How is it done?|
|Reducing improper payments and errors||Make sure all EBT users are legit||SNAP Quality Control and cross-checking information against several federal databases|
|Pursuing retailer and recipient fraud||Monitoring retailers’ compliance with rules||Updating the definition of trafficking. Providing technical assistance to states on how to monitor social media and popular websites, such as Craigslist, for attempts to buy or sell benefits|
|Combating misuse of benefits||Fining people who illegally sell their SNAP benefits for cash.||Monitoring stores and conducting undercover investigations and disqualifying stores for trafficking|
Where You Can Buy Plants With EBT?
Even though Home Depot, which sells, from food inventory, only plants and seeds, doesn’t accept EBT, there are plenty of places where you can buy seeds and plants and make your own home garden. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture urges people to use their EBT for this purpose. Not only will you eat healthier food, but you may also start your own business. A lot of farmer’s markets are part of the SNAP and allow EBT purchases. Again, the US Department of Agriculture has made a tool to search all the farmer’s markets in your area and see which one is authorized for an EBT. Also, many online stores allow online EBT purchases – just type “EBT eligible stores” and you’ll get the complete list.