Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as Food Stamps, is a Federal nutrition program that helps supplement food budgets for low-income workers. Beneficiaries of this program can make purchases of food with their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at authorized retail stores. Let us know ‘Can You Use Your EBT Card Food Stamps To Purchase Soda?’.
Can You Use Your EBT card Food Stamps To Purchase Soda?
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards can be used to purchase soda. Cold drinks, including but not limited to smoothies, iced coffee, slushies, and fountain drinks, are all SNAP-eligible as long as they are purchased for home consumption. A 2016 study showed that sweetened beverages like soda are one of the most commonly purchased items by SNAP beneficiaries in the United States.
- It gives beneficiaries access to fresh produce and other healthy foods they may not ordinarily be able to afford.
- It contributes to lower healthcare costs since beneficiaries can afford healthier diets.
- SNAP benefits seem to stimulate the economy.
- The program emphasizes the benefits of healthy eating.
SNAP Benefits: Pros And Cons
- People have extra income to spend on other important things.
- Fewer people will suffer from hunger.
- It is very easy to use.
- It allows people to save money.
- People can afford enough food to survive.
- The cost of healthcare may decrease.
- It allows people to eat healthier.
- It may take away emotional damage.
- Not all needy people are eligible.
- It cannot be used for other important products asides from food.
- It can be used for unhealthy food.
- Beneficiaries may face stigmatization.
- It may reduce the incentive to work.
What Can You Buy With SNAP Benefits?
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products
- Seeds and plants (which can be used to produce household food)
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Meat, fish, and poultry
What Can You Not Buy With SNAP Benefits?
- Paper products
- Hygiene items
- Live animals
- Vitamins, supplements, and medicines
- Cigarettes or tobacco
- Hot foods
- Cleaning supplies
- Pet foods
- Beer or wine
SNAP Benefits: Eligibility
- Age: Eligibility for food stamps has no exact age limits. Parents living with their children, ages 21 or older, are counted as a single household.
- Income tests: Countable income includes employment, unemployment benefits, child support, self-employment income, alimony, disability benefits, worker’s compensation, and pensions. Loans for tuition, grants, scholarships, and income of students 17 or below who are in school are not counted.
- Residency: Applicants must reside in the state they want to apply for benefits.
- Citizenship: You must be a US national or US qualified alien to receive benefits. Most legal immigrants are illegible for food stamps, but dependents of an illegible immigrant are often eligible.
- Asset tests: Assets that are counted include cash at hand, cash at the bank, stocks, property, bonds, and lump-sum payments. Property up for sale, property applicant currently resides in, household goods, vehicles with equity below $1500, vehicles used for transport, and income are not counted as assets.
SNAP Benefits – How To Use?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program no longer mails physical stamps to its recipients. Instead, it delivers monthly food benefit payments through a loaded Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The card can be used as a debit card in participating stores to pay for food.
Once approved for the SNAP benefits, your assistant amount will be deposited into your EBT card monthly. You will need to recertify your SNAP benefits once a year to ensure that you still meet the eligibility requirements.
EBT Card- How To Get One?
You will receive an approval letter and your EBT card once your application for food stamps has been approved. Within your letter, you will find a designated phone number which you will call to verify your account and set up your identification number.
EBT Cards-Where Can You Use Them?
Most grocery stores accept food stamps. However, if you are unsure which sellers accept EBT, you can check using the USDA SNAP Retailer Locator tool. Some common stores that accept food stamps–
- Farmer’s markets
- Convenience stores
SNAP benefits can generally be used to purchase household food items. The program helps make it easier for needy members of society to afford healthy food and allows them to channel extra cash towards other needs. EBT cards cannot be used to purchase indigestible items, hot foods, pet food, and alcoholic beverages.
Can students apply for SNAP?
Students attending higher education institutions enrolled for at least half-time are not eligible for SNAP benefits except if they meet an exemption.
Do my SNAP benefits expire?
The duration of use of SNAP benefits can stretch from anytime between one month and up to three years. The validity of benefits varies depending on factors like age, health, employment status, and household size.