Maryland may allow restaurants to accept food stamps as payment


If passed, a new Maryland bill would allow restaurant patrons to put their check on their food stamp card.

Here’s a scenario: You’re dining in a restaurant, and the bill comes. You pull out your wallet and whip out your food stamps card and tell the waiter to pay the check with that. The waiter instantly laughs at you.

It’s been common knowledge that you can’t use an EBT card to pay at a restaurant, but if a Maryland senator has his way, some folks with food stamps could use their card to pay for restaurant bills.

According to AZ Family, Sen. Clarence Lam of Baltimore has introduced SB 752, would allow the elderly, disabled, or a homeless person to use a food stamp card to pay for meals at restaurants that would allow it. In explaining the bill, Lam told Fox 5 DC that he sponsored the bill as a way to help those who are unable to make their own food.

“I think this is really focused on folks who are in need,” Lam said, adding the reason for narrowing the bill to those in dire need was to make sure that program wouldn’t be misused.

Maryland would not be the only state who would be testing the “pay by EBT” program for restaurants. Arizona and select counties in California already have similar systems in place; and in Rhode Island and Florida, a test is being done to see if a similar program could be viable in those states.

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Do you support food stamp cards being used as payments at restaurants? What do you think about this potential new rule? Let us know your take in the comments!