If you have a SNAP EBT card, you might be wondering where you can use it to get its benefits. Well, you can use an EBT card to buy Protein Powders as well as Energy Drinks. But Can you buy vitamins with EBT? We have got this question a lot of times. So if you want the answer, keep reading ahead.
Vitamins are one of the requirements of human bodies to help them grow and develop well. We get a majority of our vitamin needs from the food we consume. However, the changing lifestyle nowadays can disrupt this natural source of vitamins and cause its deficiency in our body.
In fact, even if the diet we consume is “healthy” by all means, several other factors, such as lifestyle, age, time of life, etc., could severely impact your vitamin consumption. With increasing age, the levels of Vitamin requirements in your body might fluctuate. This could lead to gaps in nutrition fulfilment.
Assuming the importance of Vitamins for our bodies, we might think that the well-known Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program covers Vitamins under the EBT SNAP benefits. However, that’s not the whole truth. To know if Vitamins are SNAP-Eligible, keep reading the article below.
Can you buy vitamins with EBT?
NO. Unfortunately, you cannot buy Vitamins with EBT Food Stamps. SNAP program offers assistance to low-income families to buy nutritious food at a cheap price. Vitamins do not classify as nutritious food. Rather, they are dietary supplements, and so they can’t be bought using SNAP Food stamps.
Can I Buy Vitamins With My SNAP Card?
Unfortunately, NO. You cannot buy Vitamins With your EBT SNAP Card. As stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), whose responsibility it is to oversee the SNAP program, any item that has a Supplement Facts label on it is not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits because it is considered a supplement and not a food item.
Due to the fact that vitamins and supplements are products with Supplement Facts labels on them, they are not eligible for EBT benefits. Regardless of how healthy your diet is, there are a number of factors that can have an effect on your vitamin levels; your age, your lifestyle, the time of your life, and the diet you follow.
There are certain factors that may cause your vitamin levels to fluctuate as your body ages and goes through changes, leaving you with nutritional gaps. There is no doubt that vitamins are beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but they are not essential nutritious foods. The use of food stamps cannot be used to purchase vitamins because they are considered dietary supplements.
Why Can’t You Buy Vitamins with EBT Food Stamps?
As you might know, the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program is a well-known government assistance program that helps low-income families and needy people to get food and grocery items at a low price.
A total of over $56 million of food and similar items are provided to those in need as a result of this program each year. There are, however, certain limitations that come with the program, just like with any other government program, mainly due to the limited number of resources that are available to the program.
One of the major rules of the SNAP program is that the SNAP EBT benefits can be used to buy only Nutritional food items and not Supplemental items. Those food items that have “Nutritional Facts” written on their label are acceptable under EBT benefits. Whereas those food items that have “Supplemental Facts” written on their label are considered supplemental foods, which cannot be bought using SNAP EBT benefits.
The FDA does not consider supplemental foods as food items. As you might know, Protein Powders and Energy drinks can be bought using an EBT SNAP card since some of the brands selling these items sell them as foods by using the “Nutritional Facts” label. It is all about how the manufacturer of that particular food item sells it.
With Vitamins, that is not the case. They are sold as Supplemental foods and are only an add-on to the usual diet. They are not considered essential like other food items that can be bought using EBT, such as Cereals, bread, grains, fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, etc.
Alternatives of vitamins that can be bought using EBT Card
Although you cannot buy vitamins themselves, it is possible to purchase vitamin-rich food items such as smoothie blends, meal replacement shakes, and other foods that will nourish your body with the vitamins it requires. At times, vitamin drinks like Emergen-C may also be marked EBT eligible by certain retailers. You can opt to buy such vitamins.
Given below are some of the most helpful alternatives to vitamins that you can buy using an EBT SNAP Card. All of the below-mentioned food items are a great source of nutrients and energy. Even if you cannot afford to buy vitamins or use your EBT card to buy vitamins and supplements, you can definitely go for the below options. You can get a majority of these food items with EBT benefits.
- Energy bars
- Protein powder
- Meal replacement shakes
- Superfood snacks
Can you buy vitamins with EBT CalFresh?
EBT CalFresh is a program that helps low-income families buy necessary food items so as to meet their nutritional requirements. This program is federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. One can use this card in grocery stores and participating Farmers’ Markets as well.
In order to get vitamins and similar other products using a CalFresh EBT card, you will have to see that the product label has “Nutritional Facts” written on it. In case the product has “Supplemental Facts” written on the label, then you won’t be able to use it. The same rule is applicable for CalFresh EBT as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about EBT, Can Vitamins be purchased with an EBT card, and generally, questions regarding SNAP food stamps in general. In order to gain a better understanding of the EBT SNAP benefits, we recommend that you go through these questions.
Can you buy prenatal vitamins with EBT?
It is, unfortunately, not possible to use EBT to purchase prenatal vitamins as they are not eligible to be used with EBT. Please contact your local health department if you are pregnant and are in need of prenatal vitamins in order to receive assistance. There is also a possibility that you may be eligible for WIC, which can provide you with a healthy diet for a small fee.
Can you buy Flintstone vitamins with food stamps?
The answer to that question is, unfortunately, no. A Flintstones vitamin has a supplement facts label and not a nutrition facts label, which means that you cannot use EBT to purchase Flintstones vitamins.
What Can You Buy With Food SNAP Benefits?
It should be noted that EBT food stamps offered through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can be used to purchase a wide variety of grocery food items, with the exception of hot-served food at restaurants. It would be possible to include items such as the following in this category of grocery items.
- Grains and BreadMeat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
- Fruits and vegetables
- Food-producing seeds and plants
What Can You NOT Buy with Food SNAP Benefits?
In case you do not already know, EBT is the method by which you can make use of the benefits that are available through the snap assistance program. Through the SNAP program, you can get a lot of advantages when it comes to buying groceries at very low prices because of the benefits you receive.
It should be noted, however, that this program is subject to some restrictions. You cannot use EBT to purchase hot food at restaurants, vitamins, hygiene products, pet food, medicines, tobacco, alcohol, cosmetics, and foods to be eaten at the store with your EBT card.
Will I ever be able to buy vitamins with EBT?
May Be. Vitamins are one of the most crucial parts of what the human body needs. There have been a lot of attempts to include vitamins and supplements in the SNAP benefits. However, in 2023, multivitamins and mineral supplements are not eligible for SNAP benefits.
In accordance with the definition given by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), multivitamin-minerals are dietary supplements that include vitamins and minerals as key ingredients. But due to the increasing need for vitamins and use by American people of the same, there could be a chance of including vitamins in the SNAP benefits in the future.
Where can you use EBT Food Stamps?
Now that you know what foods you are eligible to purchase with your SNAP benefits, you should know where to use them once you know what food you are qualified for.
There has been a significant expansion in the list of retailers that have been accepted since the start of the pandemic. Last year, when millions of Americans lost their jobs, the federal program saw a great need for food assistance and was able to expand its list of resources to include grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and even online grocery delivery services.
If you are wondering which retailers and grocery stores accept EBT, then you don’t need to look further. The USDA displays the retail food stores that take EBT. You will be able to find your closest store using SNAP Retailer Locator, which is available on their website.
We have compiled a list of retailers and grocery stores that accept EBT so that you will not have to worry about finding one near you.
- Super Foods
- Piggly Wiggly
- Hays Supermarket
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- The Fresh Grocer
- Carlie C’s IGA
- Woods Supermarket
- Wright’s Market
- Dash’s Market
That was all about “can you buy Vitamins using EBT SNAP Card?” A lot of us are well aware of the benefits that Vitamins hold, especially in today’s world where there is very little focus on a good diet. The lifestyle of today cannot be as fulfilling for many, and the human body requires more vitamins and supplements to lead a healthy lifestyle.
However, not many can afford to buy Vitamins to meet these additional dietary requirements. It thus makes sense to include Vitamins in EBT benefits and help those in need. In fact, there have been multiple attempts to include Vitamins and Supplements in the gamut of SNAP benefits.
Hopefully, someday, vitamins could be accepted as SNAP-eligible food items. Till then, you can rely on the alternatives of vitamins that can be bought with an EBT card, as we have mentioned in the article above.
In case you are aware of any Vitamins that are sold with a “Nutritional Facts” label like Emergen-C, it would be very helpful for many people if you share your thoughts in the comment section below.