1100.000.00 Overview of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

1100.005.05 Using SNAP Benefits

IM-46 April 22, 2021; IM-103 October 4, 2004

The household may use its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in any store, anywhere in the United States, authorized by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to accept them. The benefits may be used the same as cash to purchase any food or food product prepared for human consumption. Benefits may also be used to buy seeds and plants for use in gardens to produce food for personal consumption by the eligible household. Benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco, soap products, paper products, and hot foods or hot foods prepared for immediate consumption. Under certain conditions, members of an eligible household who are 60 years of age or over and their spouses may use SNAP benefits to pay for home-delivered meals and other meals prepared especially for elderly persons.

SNAP benefits cannot be used for any eligible food purchased prior to the time at which benefits are presented to an authorized food store or meal service. Benefits cannot be used to pay for any eligible food in advance of the receipt of food, except when prior payment is for food purchased from a non-profit cooperative food purchasing venture.

When transacting SNAP benefits by Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), the household cannot receive change.