icon of SNAP grocery bag with food sticking out of top of bag. Located on the SNAP What Foods Can I Buy Page.

SNAP - What foods can I buy?

Foods you can buy with SNAP

From USDA Food and Nutrition Service

  • Foods for the household to eat, such as:
    • Breads and cereals
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Meats, fish, and poultry
    • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat
  • Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible
  • Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Any nonfood items, such as:
    • Pet foods
    • Soaps and paper products
    • Household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods (or any food sold for on-premises consumption
  • Live animals may NOT be purchased with SNAP benefits

Helpful Information

    Energy drinks that have a nutrition label are eligible foods. Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible.

    Pumpkins are edible and eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. However, inedible gourds and pumpkins that are used solely for ornamental purposes are not eligible items.

    Gift baskets that contain both food and non-food items, are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits if the value of the non-food items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price.

    Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.

    Essentially, items that are not eligible include:

    • Food products that contain alcohol or tobacco products
    • Items that are not intended for human consumption (e.g., paper products, pet foods, etc.)
    • Foods sold hot at the point-of-sale
    • Vitamins and supplements

    Considering the eligibility of vitamins and supplements, power bars, energy drinks, and other branded products, the primary deterrent is the label chosen by the manufacturer to conform to FDA guidelines:

    • Items that carry a nutrition facts label are eligible foods
    • Items that carry a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore NOT eligible