Can You Buy Dry Ice With Food Stamps?
This information is current as of April 21, 2022.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has helped thousands of Americans buy groceries for their families. Some people even use SNAP to pay for untraditional food items, so you may be asking, “Can you buy dry ice with food stamps?”
Unfortunately, you can’t buy dry ice with food stamps because dry ice is not considered a food item by the program. Instead of dry ice, however, you can buy block or crushed ice with SNAP benefits.
This article will explain why food stamps don’t cover dry ice and what you can buy with your EBT card.
Food Stamps Don’t Cover Dry Ice
Throughout the United States, around 9.5 million families and children use food stamps to buy healthy food. Food stamps are another name for the Electronic Benefit Trader (EBT) card benefits SNAP gives.
This program is the largest federal nutrition assistance initiative in the nation. It helps low-income individuals and families eligible to receive help purchase nutritious food using an EBT card. This EBT card works like a debit card with monthly funds preloaded that can be used to purchase food and drink items at authorized stores throughout the United States.
To be eligible to receive SNAP benefits, you must live in the state in which you apply and meet specific bank balance limits according to the size of your family. To find out if you and your family are eligible for food stamps and how to apply, click here.
Food stamps help families buy healthy food, snacks, and beverages at most grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and farmers’ markets authorized to accept an EBT card.
This financial assistance helps families buy:
- Dairy products
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants to grow food
Because of this, you can’t use food stamps to purchase conservation products like dry ice.
You cannot use an EBT card to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, medicine, and non-food items such as pet food, cleaning supplies, household supplies like toilet paper, or hygiene products like shampoo, baby formula, PediaSure, and diapers.
EBT Alternatives to Dry Ice
Although food stamps don’t cover cooking equipment, canning supplies, plastic containers, or food preservation items such as dry ice, there are alternatives available. For example, with SNAP benefits, you can buy crushed or block ice.
Surprising Things You Can Buy With EBT
The SNAP program provides basic nutritious food for families to cook, such as meats, vegetables, and fruit. Still, there are also some surprising things you can buy using an EBT card. These include candy, baked goods, coffee, cooking ingredients, spices, food coloring, and even ice cream because it is considered a dairy product.
The program also allows you to purchase energy drinks, frozen foods like pizza and dinners, alcohol mixers, protein powder, and even weight loss/meal replacement shakes like SlimFast, Pedialyte, Ensure, and soft drinks.
If you want to grow your food, you can purchase seeds and plants. This includes fruit trees, flaxseed, alfalfa seed, nasturtium seeds, and edible or food-producing seeds or plants.
You can purchase gift baskets with food and non-food items for special occasions if the value of the food items is at least 50% of the total cost, birthday cakes, graduation cakes, and other special occasion cakes.
You can even purchase specialty food items like baker’s yeast, bottled water, corn husks, goat’s milk, honey, vegan foods, and edible whole pumpkins.
Remember that you can usually use your EBT card on food or beverage items with a nutrition information label.
Items with supplement information labels like vitamins or certain protein powders and dietary supplements cannot be purchased with your EBT card. This is because these items aren’t considered food. However, you can always ask store associates to confirm if an item is eligible to use with SNAP benefits before paying.
Also, suppose you happen to live in Alaska. In that case, you can purchase hunting and fishing items with an EBT card, such as bows, arrows, harpoons, fishing lines, knives, hooks, nets, and other necessary equipment.
The Food Stamps Restaurant Meal Program
Some states have a Restaurant Meal Program. This program allows specific individuals who can’t prepare their food – like the elderly, disabled, and the homeless – to receive prepared or hot foods to be eaten on-premises at authorized restaurants, including fast-food restaurants.
These states include California, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Rhode Island.
Some restaurants that participate in this program are:
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Church’s Chicken
- Cicis Pizza, Dairy Queen
- Del Taco, Denny’s
- Domino’s Pizza
- El Pollo Loco
- Firehouse Subs
- Hungry Howie’s
- Jack in the Box
- Krispy Krunchy Chicken
- Little Caesars Pizza
- Papa John’s
- Papa Murphy’s
- Pizza Hut
- Quizno’s Subs
- Taco Bell
So, can you buy dry ice with food stamps? Unfortunately, you can’t purchase dry ice with food stamps because it is considered a preservation item and not food. However, many nutritious food options are still available with an EBT card.
You can still purchase cubed and block ice for food preservation. You can also use your EBT card to buy surprising things like birthday cakes, energy drinks, and seeds to start your food garden.
EBT cards help millions of families across the United States every year. With this monthly assistance, you can make healthy food purchases for your family. Government financial help also allows you to stretch your money to assist with medical costs, rent, transportation, or save it for a rainy day.
And remember, if you are struggling to provide healthy meals for your family, you are not alone. Millions of people rely on the SNAP program and have found that it’s changed their lives and families.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
Did you know that if you qualify for SNAP benefits, you may be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)? Both Lifeline and ACP are government programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.