The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government-funded program designed to provide nutritional assistance for qualifying low-income families. This program, formerly known as food stamps, is administered through the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. With this card, eligible households can access SNAP benefits at more than 200,000 authorized retailers across the United States. But did you know that you can now use your EBT card to shop online? Let’s take a look at how it works.
How EBT Cards Works
The EBT card allows customers to access their SNAP benefits by using a debit-style card that looks and functions like any other debit or credit card. When shopping online with an EBT card, customers simply enter their 16-digit EBT account number and their 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) when prompted at checkout. Then the funds are deducted from their SNAP benefits balance and the purchase is complete. It’s that simple.
How To Qualify For SNAP Benefits
To qualify for SNAP benefits, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements based on their income, family size, and personal circumstances. These requirements vary from state to state but generally include household size, income level, employment status, citizenship status, and disability status. For more information about qualifying for SNAP benefits in your state, contact your local agency or visit the USDA website.
Generally speaking, applicants must have an annual gross income below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify for benefits. Additionally, most states also require participants in the program to be U.S. citizens or legal immigrants who are receiving disability payments or working at least 20 hours per week to maintain eligibility for the program.
And please don’t ever be too proud to apply for help if you truly need it, especially if you have small mouths to fee. When I was an unwed teenage mother, I received the paper food stamps back in the day.
Living in a rural community where everyone knew me, it was embarrassing to hand over the “food coupon” that resembled Monopoly money. Nowadays with technology, no one has to be the wiser to your form of payment, especially if you order your groceries online.
SNAP Eligible Foods
The USDA has listed the types of foods that can be purchased using SNAP EBT benefits, which include:
- non-alcoholic beverages
- seeds or plants for gardening purposes
The following items cannot be purchased with SNAP EBT:
- alcoholic beverages
- medications (click here for tips on saving on medication)
- live animals (excluding shellfish and fish taken out of water)
- hot foods
- nonfood items such as pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products, household supplies, hygiene products, and cosmetics.
What Online Stores Accept EBT?
Currently, several major retailers accept EBT Card SNAP benefits for online purchases including Walmart and Amazon. Additionally, several smaller retailers such as FreshDirect and Safeway also accept these types of payments when ordering groceries online from their respective sites. When shopping at any of these retailers it is important to note that some products may not be eligible for purchase using an EBT card due to restrictions set forth by state governments or individual retailers themselves.
Online Stores That Accept EBT Card Snap Benefits
Below you can find a list of major online retailers that accept EBT card SNAP benefits directly on their websites. The link should take you directly to the EBT page for easy access:
- Food Lion
- Walmart – be sure to look for secret Walmart clearance food items on sale
- Wright’s Market
Pay with EBT SNAP On Instacart
For even more online stores (see list below) that accept EBT cards, checkout out the Instacart app as you can add your EBT SNAP card, shop for eligible items and check out with EBT SNAP. Plus right now, they are offering free delivery on your first three EBT orders! Instacart is one of my favorite personal finance apps!
Instacart Stores That Accept EBT
- Food Lion
- Lucky Supermarkets
- Market 32
- Market Bistro
- Price Chopper
- Price Rite
- Save Mart
The full list of EBT eligible retailers on Instacart can be found here.
How To Use EBT On Amazon
To utilize your EBT SNAP benefits card on Amazon, go to the Amazon Snap page and follow the easy on-screen instructions. No Prime membership is required for SNAP EBT card purchases. Available in all US states except Alaska.
- Add your SNAP EBT Card
- Shop SNAP-eligible groceries and deals
- Enter your EBT PIN to pay for eligible items
How To Use EBT On Walmart
Walmart’s SNAP page is very similar to Amazon’s, and the process of adding your EBT card is the same.
- Add EBT card to Wallet where you can check balance
- Shop EBT-eligible items for pickup or delivery
- Pay by entering your PIN at checkout
EBT Card SNAP benefits offer a great way for those who qualify to access food assistance without having to leave their homes or wait in line at traditional grocery stores or supermarkets. By utilizing these types of services individuals can save time while still being able to purchase the same quality items they would find in-store while using their EBT card as a payment method instead of cash or credit cards. With more businesses beginning to accept this type of payment it is becoming easier than ever before for those who qualify for SNAP assistance programs to access the groceries they need from the comfort of their own homes.
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