SNAP-Eligible Foods: What You Can and Cannot Buy

Project Bread

 Being a client of SNAP has many benefits that often go unnoticed. You can purchase tickets to museums and cultural events at a discount, buy MBTA tickets at a lower fare, and more.

The primary benefit SNAP clients receive is funds on an EBT card that are reloaded monthly to purchase groceries every month. While these funds are flexible for both the types of groceries you purchase and where you purchase them from, there are a few important limitations to be aware of before you head to the checkout.

What you CAN purchase with SNAP benefits on your EBT card

  • Primarily, you can purchase groceries
    • The basics: like milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and snacks
    • And groceries that are appropriate to your cultural background, including chutney, berbere, kimchi, bolos levedos, etc. 
  • Seeds for plants that produce food

    • Seeds for herbs, like basil plants

    • Seeds for plants that produce vegetables or fruit, like tomato plants

It’s important to also understand what SNAP benefits cannot purchase:

  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana products
  • Vitamins, supplements, or medications 

  • Hot foods, like a cooked rotisserie chicken and a hot pizza. Many grocers have these kinds of foods, so be aware that SNAP will not be able to buy these foods.

  • Pet foods 

  • And finally, nonfood items, such as cleaning supplies, paper products, and hygiene products (like hand soaps and sanitizer)

It’s equally as important to know where you can purchase groceries with your SNAP benefits. Every major grocery chain in Massachusetts accepts SNAP as a form of payment. Also, many convenience stores and independent grocers, and farmers markets accept SNAP. Stores that display the QUEST logo, usually in the store window, accept SNAP benefits.

There are also many online grocers that accept SNAP so you can get groceries delivered to your residence. BJs and Amazon are two online retailers that accept SNAP benefits. Find the full list of online grocers that accept SNAP.

Quest logo

SNAP is easy to use, and the funds both roll over and are reloaded every month.

 It works similar to a debit card: you swipe your EBT card at the checkout, and then input your PIN to purchase groceries. SNAP is helping more than 1 million people in Massachusetts boost their budget and purchase fresh, healthy, and culturally-relevant foods. Could you be eligible? 

If you have any general questions about SNAP or how you can use your EBT card, or you want to see if you qualify for SNAP, call Project Bread’s free FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. We look forward to connecting with you!

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Project Bread is an official SNAP Outreach Partner of The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

As a SNAP Outreach Partner of DTA, Project Bread's role is to make it easier for people in Massachusetts to get SNAP and help anyone having trouble applying.