Can You Buy Cold Prepared Food with EBT? What You Need To Know

A common question is whether EBT can be used to buy cold prepared foods. According to the USDA, you can use EBT to purchase cold prepared foods as long as they’re meant to be prepared and eaten at home. So, items like deli meats, cheeses, and salads that are sold cold and need some prep at home are eligible for purchase with EBT.

Restrictions on EBT Purchases

While EBT benefits can be used to purchase a variety of food items, there are some restrictions on what can be purchased. For example, hot foods and prepared meals are generally not eligible for purchase with EBT benefits. This includes items such as hot sandwiches, pizza, and fried chicken.

However, cold prepared foods such as sandwiches and salads may be eligible for purchase with EBT benefits. The specific eligibility of these items may vary by state and retailer. It is important to check with the retailer before attempting to purchase cold prepared foods with EBT benefits.

In addition to restrictions on certain food items, EBT benefits cannot be used to purchase non-food items such as household supplies or personal care products. It is important for EBT recipients to understand the restrictions on purchases to avoid any issues at the checkout.

Purchasing Cold Prepared Foods with EBT

Definition of Cold Prepared Foods

Cold prepared foods are food items that have been prepared in advance and do not require further preparation. These items are typically sold at grocery stores or delis and include items such as sandwiches, salads, and fruit cups. Cold prepared foods are eligible for purchase using EBT as long as they are not heated or require further preparation.

Retailers Accepting EBT for Cold Prepared Foods

Many retailers accept EBT for cold prepared foods. These retailers include grocery stores, delis, and convenience stores. However, it is important to note that not all retailers accept EBT for cold prepared foods. It is recommended to check with the retailer beforehand to ensure that they accept EBT for these types of items.

When purchasing cold prepared foods with EBT, it is important to remember that only the cold items are eligible for purchase. Hot prepared foods, such as those sold at convenience stores or restaurants, are not eligible for purchase using EBT.

Overall, purchasing cold prepared foods with EBT can be a convenient and healthy option for individuals and families who are eligible for the program. By understanding the definition of cold prepared foods and which retailers accept EBT for these items, individuals can make informed decisions about their purchases and ensure that they are using their benefits appropriately.

To learn more about the range of items you can purchase with an EBT card please refer to our comprehensive guide ‘What You Can Buy with EBT’. This guide offers valuable insights into the types of products eligible for EBT purchases.