Does Target Accept EBT Card for Food Stamps?

Picking up the pieces after serving time for a felony can feel tough. If you are struggling to make ends meet, there are forms of government assistance that can help you get back on the right track.

EBT is a form of government assistance that makes it easier for those who receive welfare to use their funds. Many establishments do accept government assistance payment forms. There are also some that will not accept this or cannot due to the lack of authorization.

does target accept ebt card for the food stamps

Knowing what establishments can and have the authorization to accept the payment, will help you to ease some stress.

Does Target take EBT? Keep reading to find out.


After several years in banking and real estate, George Dayton from New York decides to explore the growing Midwest markets. He decides to purchase land on Nicollet Avenue and forms the Dayton Dry Goods Company–today, known as Target Corporation.

In 2012, Target celebrated 50 years since its first store opened in 1962. The company is proud to be one of the world’s most beloved shopping stop. They have made commitments in order to sustain this legacy.

Listening to their customers is a commitment they stand by. At Target they want to give you the best shopping experience. They do this by creating an environment that is more than a shopping trip. The environment is supposed to make you feel at ease throughout the trip so that you can find exactly what you need. Your feedback helps Target to understand how they are doing with that.

does target accept ebt card for food stamp

The team members of the company are the heart of the business itself. Target is committed to investing in every team member. They stand by offering room for growth and making a positive difference for every employee.

Most importantly, the company stands by its motto “Expect More. Pay Less.” They do this by offering their customers quality brands and products at affordable prices. But, do they accept government assistance forms of payment?

First, let’s review what government assistance such as EBT looks like.

Government Assistance

There are various forms of government assistance for food. For instance, there is EBT, SNAP, and WIC.

Let’s go over what some of these terms stand for.

What Is SNAP?

The purpose of SNAP is to help welfare recipients maintain healthy diets by making relatively expensive items like fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible. The term “food stamps” was replaced by SNAP. This term is short for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Your EBT card will be how you access your funds.

What Is EBT?

EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer. The purpose of EBT is for state welfare recipients to pay for their eligible goods. It is done by using a card similar to a debit or credit card. This card has a magnetic strip and is how the funds are accessed.

You may be familiar with food stamps. This program issued paper coupons to welfare recipients, which was not the best form to administer it. This form of payment for welfare recipients is more a discreet way to pay for your items.

does target accept ebt card for the food stamp

EBT made the process a bit easier for both the recipients and for the stores that accept EBT. The transactions are processed in a way that is similar to Personal Identification Number debit card transactions.

At establishments in which you can use your EBT card, you will simply swipe it when prompted at checkout. All eligible items will be covered by your current funds. If you are purchasing any noneligible items, you will have to pay the remaining balance separately.

Eligible and Non-Eligible Items

In the simplest terms, you cannot buy non-food items. This is because EBT is strictly for food. It is not meant for other basic or essential items. There are some items that may be essential to some but they will not be covered by government assistance. These are a few examples of items that may be essential to some but will not be covered by EBT :

  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, or Body Soap
  • Cleaning Products
  • Pharmacy Products (Vitamins, Medicines, and Supplements)

EBT will not cover the cost of beer, wine, liquor, or any tobacco products. You are able to see a full list of items that are eligible and non-eligible on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website.

Not all establishments will accept EBT even on eligible items. In order for a company to accept EBT, they must obtain a license. There is certain criteria that must be met in order to have a license.

Target does have authorization to accept an EBT card as form of payment.

Who Accept This Payment Form?

Grocery stores are not required to accept any form of food stamps. In fact, there are many that don’t! In order to accept benefits, the store must be approved. They have to be authorized by the USDA in order to participate in the program.

The store must meet certain criteria in order to get authorized. Specifically, they have to meet two. To qualify for the program, the store must offer products in at least two of the following categories: Meat, fish and poultry, dairy products, cereals, bread and grains, or fruits and vegetables. All of which must be, staple foods. For example, hot or previously prepared food does not count.

does target accept the ebt card for the food stamps

A different criteria you could meet would be to receive 50% or more of your revenue from food sales. If you meet the specific criteria, you will receive a license in order to accept EBT. The license must be renewed every 5 years.

Once a store has been authorized, all employees of the grocery store must be trained within 30 days, on how benefits work.

You can find a list of establishments on the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Who Doesn’t Accept This Form Of Payment ?

Not all establishments will accept EBT even on eligible items. In order for a company to accept EBT, they must obtain a license.

Stores that do not accept this form of payment usually do so because they are unable to qualify. They do not meet any of the criteria and therefore cannot receive a license.

For instance, some gas stations can accept EBT due to the fact that their sales percentage of staple foods is 50% of their revenue. It is important to remember though that you can only purchase food with your EBT card. The funds on your card will not cover the cost of your gas, only eligible food items.

Accepting government assistance forms of payment can actually be very beneficial to the company. This is because it welcomes those who would not otherwise be able to afford their shopping trip.


In 2012, Target celebrated 50 years since its first store opened in 1962. The company is proud to be one of the world’s most beloved shopping stop. They have made commitments in order to sustain this legacy. One commitment is that they stand by their motto “ Expect more. Pay Less.”

Target happily welcomes EBT as a form of payment! When checking out you can use your EBT card to cover the cost of all eligible items that your funds will cover. You will need to provide a different form of payment to cover any other existing balances.

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