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On the West Coast, There Are Some Surprising Things You Can Buy With Food Stamps

Low-income Americans can receive assistance with their monthly shopping costs through the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program, seeks to assist in putting wholesome food on the table.

The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card is loaded with SNAP funds, and consumers use the card just like a debit card to make purchases at grocery stores.

The program’s administrator, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sets restrictions on how the funds may be used. It is designed for items including bread, cereals, certain snacks, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dairy. [x] Alcohol, cigarettes, prepared foods, medications, pet food, personal care products, and paper goods cannot be purchased with SNAP funds.

Although the guidelines appear straightforward, West Coast residents can utilize their SNAP payments on items other than necessities at a conventional grocery shop. These six unconventional SNAP spending options are for the West Coast.

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Farmers Market Fare

Want some California grapes, Washington apples, or Oregon pears? You may purchase your favorite fruits and veggies, selected fresh, at farmers’ markets with your SNAP benefits, which are known as CalFresh in California. Your EBT cards are accepted in several markets in every state to purchase goods like meat and fish, jams and jellies, bread, dairy, chicken, syrup, and honey.

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Many stores will provide a matching program in all three states when you use your EBT card to purchase specific items. You will receive an additional $5 to spend if you use $5 off your EBT benefits, for instance.

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Jack in the Box

Popular San Diego-based In California, the Restaurant Meals Program enables anyone receiving CalFresh benefits who are 60 years of age or older, handicapped, or homeless to purchase prepared meals with their EBT cards. Jack in the Box is a participant in this program.

You can utilize your perks in restaurants other than Jack in the Box. Others include Waba Grill, Subway, Del Taco, Pizza Hut, and El Pollo Loco. Ask before ordering since not all establishments take part.

The Restaurant Meals Program is only available in California and Arizona in the West.

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Hunting and Fishing Gear

This one has an asterisk next to it: *In Alaska.

If they fulfill both of these conditions, residents of the 49th state may utilize their SNAP benefits to purchase particular equipment. They live in a place where there aren’t many shops, and their main sources of income are fishing and hunting.

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SNAP participants who wish to take advantage of this benefit must declare their purpose to utilize the equipment for feeding their family and themselves. Once accepted, they will be allowed to purchase items like nets, lines, hooks, fishing rods, harpoons, knives, and ice augers using the benefits, according to the state. Ammunition and firearms are not permitted.

Food Gift Baskets

Gift baskets that are mostly made of food may be purchased using SNAP funds. A basket filled with sweets and a huge plush rabbit, for instance, would not be acceptable. However, the USDA states that a fruit basket with a little non-food token would be OK.

The Golden State Fruit Chocolate Covered Strawberries and the California Delicious Ultimate Meat and Cheese Gift Crate are two West Coast favorites that you can purchase on Amazon using your EBT benefits.

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Washington Salmon and West Coast Oysters

You may take use of your SNAP benefits to eat the fresh catch of salmon, which is popular in Washington. The same is true for West Coast oysters.

As long as they satisfy specific requirements established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stores like butcher and seafood shops are permitted to accept EBT cards in all 50 states. For consideration, fish and meat must be cold and unprepared at the store.

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Wedding Cakes

The West Coast chains with in-house bakeries include Fred Meyer, Vons, and Safeway. Planning a wedding? You may order your wedding cake from one of these places and use your EBT benefits to pay for it.

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According to the website Frugal Reality, the cake is eligible as long as the worth of the decorations, such as the plastic figurines of the wedding couple, doesn’t go above 50% of the cost of the cake.

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