What Can You Buy Using EBT

EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfer, is a system that allows recipients of government assistance programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to purchase certain food items using a special debit card. Through EBT, individuals and families can access nutritious food to support their well-being and health.

1. Eligible Food Items

When using EBT, you can buy a variety of food items that are considered essential for a healthy diet. These include:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Meat, Poultry, and Fish
  • Dairy Products like Milk and Cheese
  • Grains and Bread Products
  • Snack Foods like Chips and Popcorn

2. Non-Food Items

While EBT primarily covers food purchases, there are some non-food items that are also allowed. These may include:

  • Seeds and Plants for growing food at home
  • Baby formula and food
  • Energy drinks that have a nutrition label

3. Restrictions on EBT Purchases

It’s important to note that EBT cannot be used to buy certain items. These restrictions help ensure that the benefits are used appropriately for nutritious food items. Items that cannot be purchased with EBT include:

  1. Alcohol and tobacco products
  2. Hot foods prepared for immediate consumption
  3. Vitamins and medicines
  4. Cleaning products and household supplies

4. Online Purchases with EBT

Recently, the USDA has expanded the ability to use EBT cards for online grocery purchases through approved retailers. This option provides more convenience and access to food for those who may have difficulty shopping in person. Check with your state’s EBT program for the list of participating online retailers.

5. Farmer’s Markets and EBT

Many farmer’s markets now accept EBT cards, allowing recipients to buy fresh produce directly from local growers. This initiative supports local farmers and provides communities with access to fresh, healthy foods. Look for farmer’s markets in your area that participate in the EBT program.

In conclusion, EBT provides a valuable resource for individuals and families to purchase essential food items for their well-being. By understanding what can and cannot be bought using EBT, recipients can make the most of their benefits and support a healthy lifestyle.