What Can I Buy With Illinois EBT Card
Once you have been approved for Illinois food stamp benefits, now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), you will receive an EBT card. It acts like a debit card, allowing you to purchase food at any store throughout the US that accepts food stamps. The next step is to know what foods you can and cannot purchase with your benefits. View the list of what can you buy with food stamps in Illinois using your Illinois Link Card below.
What all can you buy with Illinois food stamps
Households receiving SNAP benefits can purchase the following foods to eat:
- Breads and cereals
- Meats, fish a poultry
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products
- Plants and seeds that produce food the household can consume
- Soft drinks
- Cookies or snack crackers
- Ice cream
- Bakery cakes
The type of energy drinks you can purchase with your EBT card is determined by the following:
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible to purchase
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label that are classified by the FDA as supplements are not eligible
In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept Illinois SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.
What you cannot buy with Illinois food stamps
Households receiving SNAP benefits cannot purchase the following items:
- Pet foods
- Paper products
- Household supplies
- Hot foods
- Vitamins and medicines
- Cigarettes or tobacco
- Grooming items and cosmetics
Generally, live animals including birds are not eligible for purchase. However, live seafood such as lobsters, fish and shellfish may be purchased using your food stamp benefits.Purchasing pumpkins
Pumpkins themselves can be eaten, therefore they are eligible to be purchased using your food stamps. However, the inedible gourds and pumpkins that are used solely for the purpose for decoration/ornamental purposes are not eligible.Gift baskets for the holidays
Gift baskets that have both food and non-food items are not eligible for purchasing using your Illinois SNAP benefits when the value of the non-food items exceeds 50% of the overall purchase price.Cakes for special occasions
Cakes for times like birthdays and other special occasions are eligible to be purchased with your benefits as long as the value of the non-edible decorations do not exceed 50% of the overall purchase price of the cake.
We have listed items commonly asked if they can be purchasing using food stamps in their state below. If you still have questions or issues about purchasing items with your Illinois EBT card, then please call the states SNAP hotline at 800-843-6154.Can you buy baby formula with food stamps?
Yes, you can use your Illinois SNAP benefits to buy baby food. This includes infant formula, cereals, juices, and baby food in boxes and jars.Can you buy dog food with food stamps?
No, you cannot use your food stamp benefits to purchase any non-food items, which includes pet foods.Can you buy meal replacement shakes or protein powder with food stamps?
Items that carry a nutrition facts label are eligible foods. Items that carry a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible.Can you buy prepared food with EBT?
You cannot purchase hot food prepared for consumption at time of purchase with your EBT card.