Food stamps: Using your SNAP benefits online

Since the pandemic hit, people using food stamps have been able to expand their options when it comes to purchasing food.

grocery store aisle with food stamp snap eligible items stocked on the shelves

The money loaded onto a person’s EBT card still needs to go toward food, but the way they can purchase it has changed.

Now, individuals can shop online for their food if they choose to.

These options started before the pandemic, but have become more widely used since it began.

The pilot programs for online purchasing started in 2017, and in 2022 are available in almost every state.

Walmart and Amazon were the first retailers in the pilot program, and now any store choosing to allow customers to use EBT online must seek approval from the USDA.


Can college students qualify for SNAP?

Where can I shop online with food stamps?

The retailer you want to shop with needs to have approval from the USDA.

EBT cards may be used online similarly to bank cards.

Retailers involved include Aldi, Amazon, FreshDirect, InstaCart, Safeway, ShopRite and Walmart.

Rules for what you can purchase remain the same.


Extra SNAP benefits being sent this week

How to complete transactions for SNAP purchases online

Some stores that take EBT in-store will not online, so check with the retailer first.

In some cases you may be able to shop online but need to pick up in person to pay with your EBT card.

The guidelines for online purchases remain the same as in-store purchases.


6 states that take SNAP at restaurants

Items eligible for purchase with food stamps include

  • Produce
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Dairy items
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Snacks
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Seeds or plants that produce food