U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service EBT

Program Regulations

Retailers must follow the EBT Program regulations as issued by the FNS, under the EBT SNAP Program.

Eligible Food Purchases

The following is a review of those food categories that can be purchased with SNAP benefits:

(a) Any food intended to be eaten at home by people, including snacks,
beverages, and seasonings.
(b) Seeds and plants to grow food (not flowers or birdseed).
© Cold prepared items, such as salads and sandwiches, intended to be
eaten at home.
(d) Food purchased cold, then heated in the store and consumed outside
the store.

Ineligible Food Purchases

Funds in the EBT cardholder’s SNAP benefit account cannot be used to purchase the following items:

(a) Alcoholic beverages and cigarettes/tobacco products.
(b) Hot foods ready to eat.
© Hot or cold food to be eaten at a lunch counter, in a dining area, or
anywhere else in the store.
(d) Vitamins or medicines.
(e) Pet foods.
(f) Any non-food items such as tissues, soaps, or other household goods.
(g) Deposit fees for any returnable bottle or can.

At no time may a retailer exchange food stamp benefits for cash.

Information for this section was taken from the FNS SNAP Program Training Guide for Retailers published by the FNS. For a copy of this Guide, contact the Food and Nutrition Services Office in your area.

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