Can I buy soda, chips and candy with food stamps (an EBT card)?

Yes. The government allows people to use their EBT cards on "foods" like soda, potato chips and candy with SNAP/food stamps.

Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:

Foods for the household to eat, such as:

breads and cereals;

fruits and vegetables;

meats, fish and poultry; and

dairy products.

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 SNAP benefits to buy:

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco

Any nonfood items, such as:

pet foods

soaps, paper products

household supplies

Vitamins and medicines

Food that will be eaten in the store

Hot foods

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) 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. The Act precludes the following items from being purchased with SNAP benefits: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hot food and any food sold for on-premises consumption. Nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, medicines and vitamins, household supplies, grooming items, and cosmetics, also are ineligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.

Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items

Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items

Since the current definition of food is a specific part of the Act, any change to this definition would require action by a member of Congress. Several times in the history of SNAP, Congress had considered placing limits on the types of food that could be purchased with program benefits. However, they concluded that designating foods as luxury or non-nutritious would be administratively costly and burdensome.

You can browse more SNAP eligible food items

Check out 5 Surprising Things You Can Buy With Food Stamps.

Wednesday, October 04 2017