Are you tired of planning meals every day or simply can’t afford to cook healthy food for your family? Meal kits provide a balanced meal at a reasonable price and can help you and your family eat well. But are there any meal kits that accept EBT? It’s a question many people need answered ASAP.
After all, what good are EBT benefits and meal kits if they can’t work together? Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you and found EBT-friendly meal kits that may work well for you. In this article, we’ll discuss EBT, using EBT for meal kits, and help you find affordable meal kit options for your home.
Understanding EBT and Meal Kits
Before answering the question, “Are there any meal kits that accept EBT?” it’s important to understand EBT and how it helps you. This section will briefly discuss the concept of EBT and discuss affordable meal kit options before transitioning to information about using EBT for meal kits.
What is EBT?
EBT, or electronic benefit transfer, is a system that helps people use their government benefits using a simple card. For example, if you receive food stamps every month from the state, EBT automatically deposits these benefits onto your card, meaning you can use the card to buy food.
Over the years, this system has basically replaced the old color-coded stamps that gave the “food stamps” system its name. It’s simply more efficient and easier to understand and allows users to shop in many places. Typically, this system utilizes a plastic card and a pin to streamline purchases.
EBT purchases are limited specifically to food products and can’t be used to buy things like alcohol, vitamins, supplements, tobacco, cleaning supplies, and hygiene goods. The goal is to help low-income people eat more healthily and to provide better meals for their children to keep them safe.
Meal Kits Explained
Over the years, meal kits have become a very popular dining option for a large number of people. These services deliver food directly to your door every week and include healthy and tasty meals that you simply have to heat or cook on the stove. When used properly, they can save a lot of money.
For example, let’s say you’re on a strict keto diet to lose weight and balance your heart health. Keto-based meal kits can streamline this process by providing healthy and well-prepared dishes that meet keto guidelines. Note: meal kits are much higher in quality than traditional microwave meals.
This $1.5 billion industry has an obvious appeal to many parts of the country. It cuts back on heavy shopping expenses, streamlines meal preparation, and helps create a healthier and more balanced diet. But are there any meal kits that accept EBT? Yes, there are some EBT-friendly meal kits.
Are There Any Meal Kits That Accept EBT?
If this article were written about 12 or 13 years ago, the answer to this question would be, “No, there are no EBT-friendly meal kits. Thankfully, using EBT for meal kits is possible, thanks to a handful of different companies. Here’s what you need to know about these affordable meal kit options.
Meal Kits That Accept EBT
There are currently only two organizations that provide EBT-friendly meal kits. That means using EBT for meal kits may be a little harder for some people. That said, these affordable meal kit options are well worth considering and may work well for a broad range of people who need help.
Top Box provides fresh and healthy meal boxes that are compatible with EBT payments. This community-driven nonprofit organization focuses on providing healthy and affordable foods delivered to your door. You can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and local products.
Over the years, they’ve served 169,709 communities and distributed over 1.7 million pounds of food. That’s equivalent to 1.4 million meals in 259 zip codes. They also partner with Illinois and Louisiana food programs but sell directly to anyone in these states who needs affordable meal kits.
The USDA set up SNAP Express to serve low-income Americans with EBT benefits. Though Top Box provides excellent support in Louisiana and Illinois, SNAP Express is available across the country. It’s a free service that lets you shop online using your EBT card to create personalized meal kits.
Once you sign up, you can use SNAP Express to buy foods from Amazon Fresh, Whole Food Markets, and Instacart and create meal kits. You can also find personalized recipes and unique kits that fit into your budget and provide healthy and well-balanced meals at a price you can afford.
Restrictions to Consider
Before using these services, make sure that you understand a few restrictions. For example, Top Box is currently only available in Louisiana and Illinois but is looking to expand to other states. Furthermore, SNAP Express does not cover your delivery services or processing fees. Like with all EBT purchases, you can only buy food products and not supplements, toiletries, or other items.
Benefits of Using Meal Kits for EBT Cardholders
While the answer to the question “Are there any meal kits that accept EBT?” isn’t incredibly positive, that doesn’t mean using EBT for meal kits isn’t a great idea. In fact, utilizing these affordable meal kit options is a great option for many families and can provide many benefits, including:
- Convenience: Do you have a busy life working a hard job while raising multiple children? Meal kits streamline your life by providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner options delivered to your door.
- Dietary Variety: The best meal kit services not only provide healthy foods (though this may vary) but a variety of meals, including dishes from various cultures and traditions.
- Potential Cost Savings: According to CNET, using meal services like Blue Apron can cut your meal costs to just $8 per serving. When used properly, that’s a huge level of savings.
These benefits make it easy to integrate meal kits into your life. For example, you can eat the meals they send to you rather than food shopping and limit your grocery purchases to specialized items. Just as importantly, you can easily balance your diet while saving money if you shop smartly.
Maximizing Value with Meal Kits on a Budget
If you’re interested in signing up for Top Box or SNAP Express, it’s a good idea to take a few steps to save yourself a little money. After all, there’s nothing wrong with being budget-conscious, and the following steps can help you save good money on your EBT-friendly meal kit service:
- Pay Attention to Discounts: Some meal kit companies provide huge discounts for new customers, though these aren’t always EBT-friendly meal kits. That said, you might find SNAP Express provides discounts through its vendors, like Whole Foods, that you can utilize on your purchases.
- Sign Up for Promotions: Some affordable meal kit options may provide promotions that can help you save money, such as discounts for getting people to sign up. It’s a great option if you know other people using EBT for meal kits and want to save yourself even more money.
- Pick Cost-Effective Meals: When choosing meal kits for your home, make sure you pick dishes with inexpensive ingredients that can last a long time. For example, Taste of Home suggests meals like Cool Beans Salad to get cheap, healthy, and protein-rich dishes for your home.
It’s important to remember that your options here remain limited. For example, Top Box is a nonprofit organization and may not have the ability to provide heavy discounts. That said, it’s always worth investigating potential promotions and sales when working with these companies.
When answering the question “Are there any meal kits that accept EBT?”, there are thankfully some EBT-friendly meal kits that may work for you. By using EBT for meal kits, you can cut back on your shopping expenses while eating a more healthy and balanced diet. It’s a major win-win situation.
Make sure that you try out these handful of affordable meal kit options that accept EBT and see which works the best for yourself and your family. Don’t forget to research your options regularly because you never know when more meal kit companies may expand their services to accept EBT payments.