This is the second article in our series where we answer reader questions about specific items they want to know if they can buy with their EBT Card. In this article, we are going to answer the question: “Can I buy deli food with EBT Card?”. We have provided a detailed answer below. However, for that to make sense, we need to first review what the Food Stamps list so you are familiar with what foods are allowed with the SNAP EBT Card.
List of Eligible Food Stamps Items
When you signed up for Food Stamps, you were probably given a brochure that listed the foods you are allowed to purchase with your EBT Card. That list is created and managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the federal agency in charge of the food stamps program. The aim of the program is to provide needy individuals and families who qualify money to buy nutritious food. In addition, you can only buy food you are going to take home and make or prepare. Here is the list of what you can and cannot buy with food stamps EBT Card:
breads and cereals;
fruits and vegetables;
meats, fish and poultry; and
Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.
In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.
Households CANNOT use EBT Card to buy:
Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
Any nonfood items, such as:
soaps, paper products
Vitamins and medicines
Food that will be eaten in the store
Now, let’s answer the main question:
Can I buy deli food with EBT Card?
As you can see, you are not allowed to buy food you can eat at the premises or hot food in general. You are only allowed to buy food you are taking home to prepare. So, when it comes to Deli foods, you cannot buy hot food from the deli or prepared foods like mac n cheese, chicken or sandwiches, stuff from the salad bar. You can however buy deli meats and cheeses and cold uncooked items from the deli with your EBT card that you are going to take home to prepare. Some delis that take food stamps or EBT card will display items that are eligible. If they don’t, you should ask them. Buying stuff that is not allowed is considered food stamps fraud and could land you in jail.
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