Food Stamps Now: More Convenience, More Options


More retailers are taking food stamps, according to a report in USA Today.

That's good news for the some 39 million people who are relying on government assistance to help them buy groceries.

The federal Food Stamp Program, which as of last fall is known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), no longer uses actual stamps, but instead credits recipients with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which resemble and function like a debit card.
SNAP benefits can only be used to buy foods like breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry and dairy products. Plants and seeds that produce food can also be bought with SNAP benefits. Alcoholic beverages, hot foods and foods that can be eaten in the store are not eligible. Some restaurants accept SNAP benefits for low-cost meals from elderly, disabled and homeless people, however.
In recent months retailers such as Target (Stock Quote: TGT) have begun to accept EBTs.

A partial list, including retailers who have recently added EBT carriers as customers include: 7-Eleven, BJ's Wholesale Club (Stock Quote: BJS),  Costco (Stock Quote: COST), CVS (Stock Quote: CVS), Family Dollar (FDO), Target and Super Target stores.

Also, EBTs can be used at many farmers' markets.

Wondering if you or your family would qualify for SNAP benefits? Start with the government's prescreening tool.

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