Nothing beats the sweet, icy refreshment of a Slurpee on a hot summer day. But if you receive SNAP food stamp benefits, you may be wondering if you can use your EBT card to buy these iconic frozen drinks.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, you can use EBT to purchase Slurpees and other fountain drinks at convenience stores like 7-Eleven if the store accepts EBT payments. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind.
Below, we’ll go over the details on buying chilled, frozen, and fountain beverages with SNAP benefits.
What Are Slurpees and EBT?
Slurpees are a popular frozen beverage sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores. They are known for their refreshing and icy texture, making them a favorite choice for cooling down on hot summer days.
Slurpees come in a variety of flavors, including classics like cherry and cola, as well as more unique options like blue raspberry and watermelon. They are typically served in a small cup with a straw for easy drinking.
EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a government program that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families. It is designed to help people purchase food and other essential items.
EBT cards function like debit cards, allowing recipients to make purchases at authorized retailers. The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is commonly used to distribute benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
Can You Buy Slurpees with EBT?
While EBT can be used to purchase a wide variety of food items, including beverages, the specific eligibility of Slurpees for EBT purchases may vary depending on local regulations and guidelines.
In general, EBT benefits can be used to buy food for home consumption, which typically includes items like fresh produce, dairy products, meat, and canned goods. However, certain restrictions may be in place for items that are considered luxury or non-essential, such as hot foods, soda, and energy drinks.
It is important to note that the purpose of EBT is to provide assistance for nutritious and essential food items. Therefore, it is unlikely that Slurpees would be considered an approved purchase under the program.
However, it is always best to check with local guidelines or contact the EBT customer service for specific information regarding eligible purchases in your area. For more information on EBT and eligible purchases, you can visit the official USDA website.
Fountain Drinks, Slushies, and Frozen Beverages Covered by SNAP
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income individuals and families afford nutritious food.
While SNAP benefits can be used to purchase a variety of food items, there are certain restrictions when it comes to buying fountain drinks, slushies, and frozen beverages.
What SNAP Covers
SNAP benefits can be used to buy most food items, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, meat, and non-alcoholic beverages. The program is designed to provide individuals and families with access to essential nutrition.
When it comes to beverages, SNAP benefits can typically be used to purchase bottled water, milk, juice, tea, coffee, and other non-alcoholic drinks. However, there are limitations to purchasing fountain drinks, slushies, and frozen beverages.
Are drinks eligible for purchase with EBT?
We know it’s always a temptation to use SNAP benefits to purchase a refreshing Slurpee or fountain drink. Fortunately, these items are typically eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.
According to the USDA website, cold drinks, which include Slurpees, fountain drinks, and the like, are eligible for EBT purchase since these cold drinks are intended for consumption at home.
On the other hand, hot drinks, like ready-to-drink hot coffee and tea, are prohibited for purchase with an EBT card, as they are also considered hot food items.
It’s important to note that the specific rules and regulations regarding SNAP benefits can vary from state to state. Some states may have additional restrictions or allowances when it comes to purchasing fountain drinks or similar items.
It’s always a good idea to check with your local SNAP office or refer to the official SNAP website for the most up-to-date information on eligible purchases.
Other Eligible Beverage Options
Along with fountain drinks, slushies, and frozen beverages that are EBT-eligible, there are also plenty of other beverage options that are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.
- Bottled water
- Non-alcoholic drinks
These options provide individuals and families with a variety of choices when it comes to staying hydrated and enjoying a refreshing drink.
You can learn more about eligible SNAP purchases and the guidelines in your state by visiting your local official SNAP website.
Where Can You Buy Slurpees with an EBT Card?
If you’re wondering whether you can use your EBT card to purchase Slurpees, the answer is yes, but with some limitations.
While the EBT card can be used to buy a variety of food items, including beverages, there are certain restrictions on what can be purchased with it.
Approved EBT Retailers
The first thing to consider is whether the retailer you are visiting accepts EBT. Not all stores are authorized to accept EBT payments, so it’s important to look for the “EBT Accepted” sign or ask a store employee before attempting to make a purchase with your EBT card.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains a list of retailers that are approved to accept EBT payments, and you can find this information on their website.
Eligible Food Items
Even if a retailer accepts EBT, not all food items are eligible for purchase with the card.
According to the USDA, eligible items include “foods for the household to eat, such as bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, and dairy products.”
Non-food items, such as alcohol, tobacco, pet food, and hot prepared foods, are typically not eligible for purchase with EBT.
Slurpees and EBT
Slurpees, being a beverage, fall within the category of eligible food items that can be purchased with an EBT card. However, it’s important to note that the availability of Slurpees may vary depending on the retailer.
While some convenience stores and gas stations may offer Slurpees as an eligible food item, others may not. It’s always best to check with the specific retailer to confirm whether they accept EBT for Slurpee purchases.
It’s also worth mentioning that even if a retailer accepts EBT for Slurpee purchases, there may be limitations on the size or quantity of Slurpees that can be bought. These limitations are typically in place to ensure that EBT funds are used for their intended purpose of providing nutritious food options for individuals and families in need.
Important Note: The information provided in this article is based on general guidelines and may vary depending on your location and the specific policies of the retailer.
It’s always recommended to check with your local EBT office or the retailer directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Non-Food Items You Can’t Get with SNAP Benefits
SNAP benefits, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are designed to help low-income individuals and families purchase food.
However, there are certain non-food items that you cannot buy with SNAP benefits.
It’s important to understand these restrictions to make the most out of your benefits and ensure you’re using them appropriately.
1. Household Items
SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase household items such as cleaning supplies, paper products, or personal hygiene items. These non-food items are not considered essential for nutrition and, therefore, cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits.
It’s important to budget your funds accordingly to cover these expenses separately.
2. Alcohol and Tobacco Products
SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco products. These items are considered luxury items and are not essential for a healthy diet.
If you’re eligible for SNAP benefits, it’s important to prioritize your spending on nutritious food items rather than non-essential products.
3. Prepared Foods
While SNAP benefits can be used to purchase groceries and ingredients to prepare meals at home, they cannot be used to buy prepared or cooked foods. This includes items like hot meals from a restaurant or deli, as well as pre-packaged meals that are ready to eat.
SNAP benefits are intended to help individuals and families afford the ingredients to make their own meals.
4. Pet Food
Unfortunately, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase pet food. The program is specifically designed to assist with the purchase of food for eligible individuals and families, and pet food is not included in this category.
If you have pets, it’s important to budget for their food separately.
5. Non-Food Items at Grocery Stores
While SNAP benefits can be used to purchase eligible food items at most grocery stores, they cannot be used to buy non-food items such as household supplies, toiletries, or kitchenware. It’s important to remember that SNAP benefits are intended to help with food purchases only.
For a complete list of eligible and ineligible items, you can visit the official SNAP website. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the program guidelines to ensure you are using your benefits appropriately.
While you can definitely purchase Slurpees and other frozen beverages using SNAP EBT, your options for where to shop may be limited.
Convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Wawa allow EBT for chilled and frozen drinks. However, restrictions apply in some states, so check your local policies.
And remember, you can only use EBT to buy the drinks themselves, not cups or straws.