Does Starbucks Accept Food Stamps?

We get the question "Does Starbucks accept food stamps" and here's what you need to know!
Last Updated: January 5, 2022
Date Published: January 5, 2022
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Does Starbucks Accept Food Stamps in 2022?

No, Starbucks Does Not Accept Food Stamps in 2022.

The official policy is that they do not accept food stamps/EBT at Starbucks, however there’s more to it.

Starbucks has corporate-owned stores, but they also have franchise locations.

When you visit a Starbucks location inside of a grocery store, for example, that’s a franchise/licensed store.

Sometimes, their corporate-owned stores will operate differently than their franchise stores in various ways, and this is one of those examples.

Starbucks corporate stores, officially, do not accept food stamps as a form of payment but remember – what happens in the corporate stores doesn’t necessarily apply to all of their franchise locations.

The franchise locations, for example a kiosk in a mall or at a grocery store or inside of a hotel, may end up accepting food stamps on some of the grocery/food items that they sell, but not for drinks or food they sell on their menu.

If you’re ordering off the menu, that’s considered restaurant food/hot meals, and that type of purchase isn’t covered under SNAP benefits.

But if you’re buying grocery-type items to take home, and you’re at a franchise store, it’s possible that they may accept your EBT card as a form of payment, but it’s not a guarantee.

People have had mixed results when it comes to using EBT at Starbucks, so it’s probably best to either call and ask ahead of time, or just get your grocery items from the store you’re in itself, rather than getting snacks or coffee beans or whatever else from Starbucks.

It’ll also be more affordable to get these things from a grocery store rather than from Starbucks.

But if you’re wondering about using food stamps to buy a pumpkin spice latte or a cappuccino or a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks, you won’t be able to do that at any of their corporate or franchise stores, those types of items aren’t covered by your food stamps benefits.

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EBT, or electronics benefits transfers, are a way to distribute benefits to people who need help through the SNAP program, which are used for purchasing food items at various stores.

It’s not always easy to know what’s eligible to be purchased with EBT/food stamps and what’s not, not to mention which stores accept EBT or not.

Even for stores that do accept EBT, sometimes they’ll sell things that aren’t covered, so it can be tricky.

That’s why we’ve put this page together, to help you understand how to navigate EBT and SNAP benefits at Starbucks.

Starbucks is a massive chain of coffee stores, they have locations all over the place so it would be a convenient way to stock up on coffee and use EBT, if they accept it.

Starbucks sells fresh hot food and drinks, which is not the sort of thing that’s typically covered under the SNAP program.

But in addition to that, they also sell snacks, coffee beans, tea, and other items that are meant to be taken home with you and consumed as groceries, and those are the types of items that can be covered under SNAP, assuming that you’re shopping at a store that accepts food stamps.

Here’s what you need to know about using food stamps at Starbucks.

What Can You Buy At Starbucks With Food Stamps?

If you’re at a licensed Starbucks store, and they sell things like soft drinks, energy drinks, snacks, and so on – you may be able to use food stamps to buy those items.

Those items are eligible for food stamps, so it depends on whether the particular Starbucks location you’re at is corporate owned, licensed, and whether or not they decide to accept this form of payment.

The types of food items that are eligible for SNAP are things that are meant to be consumed by the household, so a latte or a bowl of soup at Starbucks don’t fit the bill.

Starbucks food stamps

What Items Are Eligible for Food Stamps at Starbucks?

Different Starbucks locations may sell different items depending on who owns the store and which region they’re in, even thought they generally have a fairly uniform menu, some of the other stuff can vary.

One location might sell bottled water and other drinks, one location might sell kale chips and bags of peanuts as snacks, and so on.

Here’s an overview of what does and does not qualify to be purchased using SNAP benefits. Please note that a lot of these items aren’t available at Starbucks anyways, but we’re including the list just for the sake of reference.

EBT cards can be used with the SNAP program to purchase things like fruits, veggies, meats, breads and cereals, snacks, certain beverages (non-alcoholic), seeds, and plants that produce food. 

They cannot be used for liquor, live animals, pet items, vitamins, cosmetics, or anything else that isn’t food or doesn’t fit into the first list above.

As far as Starbucks goes, they do sell various snacks and food items that would qualify under SNAP, but that doesn’t mean that every Starbucks location will accept EBT as a form of payment, so it’s worth double checking that you’re visiting a licensed/franchised store, and not a corporate-owned store, and to see that individual store’s policy.

Conclusion

As a policy, Starbucks corporate stores don’t accept food stamps/payments via EBT, and their menu items don’t qualify under SNAP.

However, some independently-owned stores might accept EBT as a payment method for some of the items they sell that are meant to be taken home, excluding things like hot food and drinks.

Whether you’re paying with Apple Pay at Starbucks, a credit card, cash, or EBT – it’s important for consumers to know their options, and their rights.

Some Starbucks locations may take EBT, but many of them will not – and knowing this ahead of time can help to avoid an uncomfortable situation, or being stuck without a way to purchase the things you need.