Participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — better known as SNAP and formerly known as food stamps — surged last year as the pandemic took hold. The USDA reports that 42.3 million people were receiving SNAP benefits as of April 2021. If you're among those new to food assistance programs and unfamiliar with how they work, here's a quick yet comprehensive list of what you can and can't buy using SNAP benefits.
(Note: SNAP beneficiaries in many states may be seeing sharp reductions in their monthly spending allowances as pandemic relief programs are phased out. Check your local SNAP office for information on any upcoming changes.)