In times of national, state or personal financial crisis; people may require assistance, especially when the unemployment rate rises or in the face of a pandemic, such as COVID-19. Fortunately, there are several cash, food and health assistance programs in the United States, from SNAP (through the EBT and P–EBT card) and WIC to Medicaid. So if you’re a beneficiary of a food program like SNAP, you might want to know what can you buy with food stamps. At the end of the day, the money is destined so that you can have a good diet.
What are stamps in the United States?
Under that program, the beneficiaries received a kind of coupons or vouchers exchangeable for food in grocery stores and supermarkets. But, after its renovation -and the adaptation of the technology to the different assistance programs of the United States- this cash aid is transferred differently.
What is SNAP cash aid?
SNAP does not provide cash aid itself. The social benefits office will study each family case and, depending on the income limits who has the home, will approve or not the request. If approved, send them an EBT card with a specific amount of money, which will be the amount of benefits. That figure is detailed on the delivery letter and can also be reviewed online or using a mobile app.
What does EBT mean?
EBT is Electronic Benefit Transfer Card, that is, one electronic benefit card. It looks like a prepaid card. In fact, it works with a PIN code and is accepted as a means of payment at most grocery stores, farmers markets and supermarkets.
What can you buy with food stamps?
Besides that, you could also use it to buy seeds to grow vegetables and fruits at home. So, to summarize, what can you buy with food stamps? The next:
- Other dairy
- Plants for cultivation
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Any other staple food
- Snacks (preferably nutritious and healthy)
What can’t you buy with food stamps?
- Other liquors
- Cigarettes or tobacco
- hot food
- Cleaning articles
- restaurant meals
- Pet food
- Toilet paper and other household products
- Personal care, cosmetic or hygiene products
- Live animals, except for shellfish or lobsters, for example
- Food prepared for immediate consumption in the store, such as a roast chicken
Now, there are some exceptions to these prohibitions, at least when it comes to prepared foods. SNAP allows recipients to purchase prepared meals at certain establishments, including homeless shelters, domestic violence homes, nursing homes, and senior food delivery stores. However, for this to occur, that facility must be a certified EBT provider.
Important: Although vitamins or medicines cannot be purchased with food stamps, it is possible that the beneficiary can introduce this obligation of expenses in case of being a person over 60 years of age or with a disability. In this way, the office could increase the amount of your benefits.