Eligible Food Items Under SNAP – SNAP Eligibility | SNAP Benefits

Are you a recipient of benefits from the program SNAP? Do you know the limits to what you can purchase using your SNAP benefits? Have you heard of the Eligible food items under SNAP which have been approved? Then this article is solely for you. Here in this article we will be telling and listing out all the list of food items you can purchase using your benefits from SNAP and also the no-go food items as well. Let’s get to it already.

Eligible Food Items For SNAP

Eligible Food Items For SNAP

The food benefits received from SNAP are only used to purchase food items. The food items being purchased are mainly stapled foods since they make up the basic diet of everyone’s meal. Receiving food benefits from the program also comes with food education and awareness: how to stretch food budgets, nutritious meals, and how to prepare them.

The food benefits from the program are usually sent out to the recipients on a card referred to as the EBT card. The EBT carries the benefits in monetary forms and is used to make payments for any the items bought.

There are some approved food items one can buy with the EBT cards received from the program. In the same way, some items are highly prohibited by the program. These items cannot be purchased as they are not stapled food items that nourish the human body. The purchase of ineligible items is most of the time not accepted in authorized shops and the purchase is declined.

Now, we have to talk about a benefit program called SNAP. Before we dive into the number of items that are eligible or not on SNAP, let us first learn a little about this benefits program.


SNAP is a federal aid program in the United States of America, aimed at providing purchase assistance for low-income and no-income citizens. In other words, SNAP is a support program from the federal government of the United States to help buy healthy food for citizens, and sometimes foreigners who find it hard to feed themselves with good food.

The full meaning of SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It works only in the United States of America. The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Food and Nutrition Service. It has now grown to be the biggest program administered in the department in the country.

The program SNAP was a former called Food Stamp Program. Food stamp is still the commonly known name of the program. It started as a relief program in 1939, and then, it made use of stamps called food stamps to purchase food. The name was officially changed in 2008 and along with it came the replacement of food stamps and coupons with EBT cards.

EBT simply means Electronic Benefits Transfer. The way EBT cards are very similar to the way debit cards work. The card automatically authorizes the issuance of a transfer from the federal account to the account of any approved retailer or store. Approved retailers and stores are the only ones that can accept payment with EBT cards.

List Of Eligible Food Stamp Items

As earlier mentioned there are some items one is only permitted to buy with the food benefits received from the program. The list of food items that can be purchased with the EBT cards and have been approved by the benefits program is extensively  stated below;

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Pumpkins (edible ones)
  • Dairy products like milk
  • Fruits
  • Seeds and plants that can produce food for the household
  • Live seafood like fish, lobster
  • Steak and deli meats
  • Bread
  • Bakery items
  • Cereals
  • Snacks crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Ice cream
  • Candy
  • Energy drinks (the ones that a nutrition label)
  • Soft drinks

Some of the items that are not permitted to be purchased with the EBT cards by the food benefits are also listed below;

  • Alcohol beverages like liquor and wine
  • Tobacco products such as cigarettes and tobacco
  • Medicines
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Soaps
  • Nonfood items
  • Fast foods
  • Hot food
  • Pet foods
  • Paper products
  • Household supplies
  • Cosmetics
  • Grooming items

This is the list of Eligible Food Items Under SNAP and the prohibited items one cannot buy using the benefits.

SNAP Benefits

The benefits of SNAP are quite numerous. There are food and cash benefits one can receive from the program although the program focuses more on food benefits. There is TANF (Temporary Assistance Needy Families) that gives out cash assistance to households and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) gives out both medical and monetary benefits to mothers and children.

SNAP Eligibility

To become eligible, SNAP Eligibility, and fit for receiving this kind of food benefits from SNAP, you have to first apply for the benefits and then meet the requirements of the program. You would then be interviewed and evaluated before you would be deemed eligible to receive benefits. You can start receiving benefits as early as seven days after application to the program.



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