Can you use an EBT card or food stamps to purchase energy drinks?

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SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, helps low-income households by sending monthly benefits to supplement food budgets. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered at the state level, SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible items.

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According to the USDA, your EBT card, which is linked to your SNAP account, can only be used to purchase:

  • Fruits and vegetables.

  • Meat and fish.

  • Dairy.

  • Breads and cereals.

  • Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household.

Your EBT card cannot be used to purchase:

  • Alcoholic beverages.

  • Tobacco products.

  • Vitamins, medicines and supplements.

  • Live animals (except crustaceans, fish taken out of the water and animals slaughtered before collection from the store).

  • Hot food at the point of sale.

  • All non-food items.

Energy drinks can also be purchased using your EBT card, but the “Nutrition Facts” label must be on the container, reports Food Stamps Now. If the energy drink bears a “Supplement Facts” label, it would be considered a supplement, which is not eligible for the SNAP program.

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Here are several EBT-approved energy drinks, as reported by I Am Going Vegan:

  • Bang Energy.

  • C4 Energy.

  • Freak.

  • Red bull.

  • Reign.

  • Rock star.

  • Zevia.

These energy drinks carry a Supplement Facts label and are therefore not eligible for SNAP:

  • 5 hour energy shots.

  • Sparkling CELSIUS.

  • CUT Energy + Weight Loss (By Hydroxycut).

  • FITAID Recovery Blend.

  • Jocko GO energy drink.

  • Jump Start Energy Shot.

  • Pureboost Clean Energy Drink Mix.

  • Zipfizz healthy energy drink mix.

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This article originally appeared on SNAP Perks: Can you use an EBT card/food stamps to buy energy drinks?

About Chris C. Hairston

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