EBT and WIC are acronyms for two federal programs that help low income individuals and mothers buy healthy groceries. EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) is how qualifying individuals get money for groceries as part of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP gives states money to distribute to low income residents. Individuals apply with their state agency, who issues them an EBT Card if they qualify. EBT Cards work just like debit cards, except that they can only be used to buy certain items. SNAP used to be called Food Stamps, but was renamed in 2008.
WIC refers to the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. This federal program also distributes money to states, who distribute benefits to their qualifying residents. Like SNAP, WIC recipients usually get their benefits on a card with a magnetic strip that functions much like a regular debit card. The card with your WIC benefits can be used only to buy WIC approved items.
We cover all you need to know about using EBT and WIC at Vons, how to use your card, and what you can buy.
Does Vons Accept EBT?
Vons accepts EBT for qualifying grocery purchases. This includes packaged and unprepared (cold) foods. For example, fried chicken from the deli counter qualifies for EBT if it is refrigerated but doesn’t qualify if it’s sold hot and ready to eat. Also be aware that any grocery items that are on clearance may no longer ring up at the register as food items and therefore may not be covered by EBT.
For detailed information about what can (and can’t) be bought using an EBT card check out our article, What Can You Buy With Food Stamps/EBT? Listed. Plus What You Can’t.
While some Vons locations are open 24 hours, others close between midnight and 1 AM and reopen at 5 or 6 AM. Because store hours vary from location to location, it’s best to check the store’s operating hours using Vons Store Index.
How to Use EBT at Vons
To use your EBT card at Vons, just go to the register and swipe your EBT card like you would any other type of payment. When using an EBT card to make purchases, it is important to slide or apply the EBT card funds to your total before using any other form of payment. By sliding your EBT card first, all qualifying grocery items will be deducted from the total, leaving a balance of non-qualifying or non-grocery purchases. The remaining balance can then be paid using an alternate form of payment, like your debit card or cash. Should you slide your debit card before your EBT card, your debit card will be charged for the entire purchase.
Other Grocery Stores That Accept EBT
Almost all major grocery chains accept EBT, and many other stores like gas stations and convenience stores also accept EBT. For a full list of grocery stores that accept EBT and info about how to find out if your local store accepts EBT, see our article, Grocery Stores That Accept EBT/FoodStamps/SNAP.
If you’re interested in using EBT and having your groceries delivered, you can get more information and find participating stores in this article, EBT Food Delivery: List of Grocery Stores That Accept EBT for Delivery. Generally, an EBT card can’t be used for delivery, but the USDA has run pilot programs for delivery and for online grocery shopping, and you might be able to get delivery through these options. There are also a handful of grocery stores that will deliver if you use an EBT card and are elderly or disabled.
Does Vons Accept WIC?
WIC, the acronym for the government-funded Woman, Infants, and Children Program, provides infant formula and grocery staples like peanut butter, cereal, and cheese to expectant and new mothers by adding benefits onto a magnetic card that can be swiped at the register. While EBT and WIC cards can look similar, the purchases allowed by each program differ greatly.
If you’re wondering if you can use WIC at Vons, you’re in luck. Vons does accept purchases paid for by WIC.
How to Use WIC at Vons
If you’re using your WIC card and your EBT card during the same transaction, swipe your WIC card first to eliminate any qualifying purchases from your total, then your EBT card to eliminate the remaining grocery items from your total. If there are non-qualifying items within your order, you’ll then be given the remaining balance, which you can pay for using your debit card, credit card, cash, check or another form of payment.
Does Vons accept EBT? Does Vons accept WIC? Vons accepts both EBT and WIC benefits for qualifying purchases. With EBT, you’ll be able to buy most food items, but not hot food. WIC purchases are more limited, to things like grocery staples and infant formula. Just remember to swipe the card with the most restrictive limitations on what it can buy first! (That’s typically the WIC card, if you have one).
If you can’t get to Vons or want more options, there are many other grocers and retailers that accept EBT and WIC as payment for qualifying items. Most major grocery chains accept WIC, and some small, independent grocers and convenience stores accept WIC benefits as payment. For help finding a WIC-participating store close to you, see our article, Grocery Stores That Accept WIC.