We get emails from EBT Card holders about the list of foods you can buy with EBT Card. In this article, we will answer the question in detail. The Food Stamps program or SNAP program is intended to provide nutritional food to those eligible. There are strict guidelines about what you can buy with the card and what you cannot. If you are caught using the card to buy an item not permitted or a service, you are committing EBT Card Fraud and if caught could face jail time. The most common questions we get are the following:
– Can I buy Baby Food/Infant Formula with SNAP benefits? The Answer is YES. This includes infant formula, cereals, juices, and baby food in boxes and jars.
– Can you buy hot food with SNAP Card? The Answer is NO.
– Can you buy slimfast with Food Stamps? The Answer is generally YES, but your state may prohibit it – so check with your state’s food stamp program.
– How about dog food? The Answer is NO.
List of foods you can buy with EBT Card
The items you can buy with your card is governed by the The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 which defines eligible food as any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by SNAP households. You are allowed to use your SNAP benefits card to buy foods that your household will eat, including the following :
- breads and cereals
- fruits and vegetables
- meats, fish and poultry; and
- dairy products
- Seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat
- Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream
- Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible
Now that you know what you can buy with your SNAP card, here are the list of things you CANNOT buy with the card:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, diapers, and household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods
- Live animals
NOTE: In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals. For more details, visit the USDA’s website.
As we mentioned earlier, using your benefits cards for foods that are not approved can land you in jail and the government is serious about arresting business owners who allow card holders to use their benefits for illegal items. Also, benefit holders who are caught not only could go to jail but are denied any future benefits FOREVER. This includes getting cash instead of food or groceries. It is therefore not worth taking the chance to use your EBT Card for what it is not intended for. You can view the videos below about food stamps fraud and business owners and card holders arresting for committing EBT Fraud.
Food Stamps Fraud Videos: