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SNAP Benefits: Can You Use EBT Card/Food Stamps To Purchase

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SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income households by sending monthly benefits to supplement food budgets. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered at the state level, SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible items.

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According to the USDA, your EBT card, which is linked to your SNAP account, can only be used to purchase:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Meat and fish.
  • Dairy.
  • Breads and cereals.
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.

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Your EBT card cannot be used to purchase:

  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Tobacco products.
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
  • Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
  • Foods that are hot at the point of sale.
  • Any nonfood items.

Energy drinks can also be purchased using your EBT card, but the label “Nutrition Facts” must be on the container, reports Food Stamps Now. If the energy drink has a “Supplement Facts” label, it would be considered a supplement, which is not SNAP-eligible.

Here are several EBT-approved energy drinks, as reported by I Am Going Vegan:

  • Bang Energy.
  • C4 Energy.
  • Monster.
  • Red Bull.
  • Reign.
  • RockStar.
  • Zevia.

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These energy drinks have a Supplement Facts label, and are therefore not eligible for SNAP:

  • 5-hour Energy Shots.
  • CELSIUS Sparkling.
  • CUT Energy + Weight Loss (By Hydroxycut).
  • FITAID Recovery Blend.
  • Jocko GO Energy Drink.
  • Jump Start Energy Shot.
  • Pureboost Clean Energy Drink Mix.
  • Zipfizz Healthy Energy Drink Mix.

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.