Like many major grocery retailers, Safeway is very accommodating to SNAP shoppers. In fact, you can purchase groceries with SNAP benefits (EBT) at any Safeway store across the US as well as on Safeway.com.
Starting in 2022, Safeway first expanded their payment system to allow online shoppers to pay for home delivery and grocery pickup orders with EBT cards. Unfortunately, not all Safeway locations can accommodate delivery for EBT shoppers, but Safeway is working on expanding this service to all of their stores in 2023.
If you want to learn more, Safeway.com offers a super helpful informational page for customers shopping with EBT cards online. From there, you can learn all about how to use your EBT card on Safeway.com.
How To Get An EBT Card
An EBT card (or “electronic benefits transfer” card) is used to access SNAP benefits, commonly known as “food stamps.” SNAP stands for “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” the federal program providing low-income individuals and families with monthly grocery assistance.
To get an EBT card, you must apply through your state’s social services department. Although SNAP is a federal program, benefits are distributed by state governments, and each state has its own department responsible for handling the program. The easiest way to find out how to apply for an EBT card in your state is to type “apply for SNAP” or “apply for EBT” into your search engine. Your device’s location services should be able to detect where you are and provide you with the information specific to your state.
In most cases, applying for SNAP benefits involves submitting an application online, then completing an interview in person or over the phone. Throughout this process, you will be asked to provide detailed information and documentation about your income, monthly expenses, living situation, relationship status, etc. (You are responsible for providing this information accurately. Intentionally providing inaccurate information to receive government benefits is a serious form of fraud.)
Once this process is complete, you will be notified about your acceptance or rejection from the program via a letter in the mail. If you are accepted, you will receive your EBT card in the mail as well, along with a four-digit PIN.
Monthly SNAP benefits can range anywhere from about $20 per month to about $300 per month. The amount you’re approved for will depend on your financial situation and whether or not you’re responsible for feeding dependents or others in your household. SNAP benefits are distributed monthly on a set date based on when your application was approved.
To find out if you’re eligible and to learn how to apply in your state, click here.
Specific SNAP qualifications vary from state to state. According to the federal SNAP website, your state agency will determine your eligibility.
Unfortunately, figuring out what these qualifications are can be pretty difficult. In my state (Washington), the official eligibility page reads more like a legal document than something designed for the average person.
Generally speaking, your income is what determines your SNAP eligibility. Income requirements vary by location, and they also tend to be very susceptible to political shifts (food stamps policies are changing all the time at the federal level). But if you make over a certain amount of money each month or year, you will not qualify for food stamps.
In most cases, you must also be employed to receive food stamps, and you must have a permanent residential address. Unfortunately, unhoused and/or unemployed individuals are typically not eligible for food stamps.
How To Use EBT Cards At Safeway
Using your EBT card at Safeway is super easy! All you have to do is have your card in hand and remember your 4-digit PIN.
When shopping in store, you can simply pay for your groceries the same way you would with any other card. EBT cards can be used at any register, including self checkout. Simply provide your EBT card at checkout, enter your PIN, and you’ll be good to go. Just be aware that EBT cards cannot be used to purchase non-grocery items.
When shopping online, start here and begin building your grocery order the way you normally would. When you’re ready to place your order, enter your EBT card information at the payment stage and select your preferred method of delivery. EBT payments are valid for home delivery and pickup orders when shopping through Safeway.com in most places (but not all Safeway stores offer delivery to EBT shoppers). Be aware that if you are charged a delivery fee or service fee, you will need to provide a secondary form of payment in addition to your EBT card, as EBT does not cover these fees.
EBT payments are also accepted within the Safeway app, which you can download here.
What Can You Buy With EBT?
Generally speaking, EBT cards can only be used to purchase qualifying grocery items.
Some examples include…
- Meat, fish, and eggs
- Packaged foods
- Canned foods
- Bread and pasta
Basically, anything that qualifies as a grocery item can be purchased with an EBT card, as long as that item is not sold hot and does not contain alcohol.
Some examples of items that do not qualify include…
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Hot foods (hot bar items, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza slices, etc.)
- Anything that cannot be eaten
- Health and wellness products (including vitamins and supplements)
Does Safeway Delivery Accept EBT?
Yes! You can absolutely use your SNAP benefits to order groceries online through Safeway.com for pickup or home delivery. However, not all Safeway locations offer delivery and pickup services for EBT shoppers at this time.
To find out if your local Safeway offers this service, use this store locator tool and select “SNAP EBT at Drive Up and Go” as well as “SNAP EBT Online” from the drop-down list of additional services before conducting your search. This will provide you with a list of Safeway locations near you that offer online ordering for EBT customers.
Please note that to place online orders with Safeway, you will need to sign up for a free Safeway.com account. To do so, visit Safeway.com, then click “Sign In / Up” in the top right corner.