Can You Buy Rotisserie Chicken With EBT/SNAP?

Can You Buy Rotisserie Chicken With EBT/SNAP?

Having access to EBT is how many families have access to the food resources they so desperately need. Food assistance makes a significant difference for food-deficient families to help bridge the gap that their income creates. But using EBT correctly is crucial to make full use of the benefits it provides. Sometimes, the stereotypes associated with using food assistance can make some people hesitant to understand their benefits and put them to use.

Many people have questions about what they can and cannot use as part of their food assistance programs, such as if they can buy a rotisserie chicken as part of their benefits. The short answer is no.

But there are other ways that your EBT benefits can help you. Here are a few points on what EBT covers and how to address the social stigma surrounding the food benefits.

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Criteria For Food Stamp Eligibility

Before you can know what you can buy with your Food Stamp benefits, you must also understand what the criteria is as you complete the application process. The specific criteria for your benefits depends on the state you live in. But eligibility for benefits generally depends on your income, household size, and available assets. 

The specific details regarding your income, household size, and assets, depend on where you live.

Those who aren’t eligible to apply for food stamps include

  • Undocumented Immigrants
  • Individuals on strike
  • Some college students
  • Those whose income surpasses state-mandated limits

Meeting this criteria is a crucial part of the process, and can make the difference in your application for benefits being approved or not.

What Can You Buy With EBT?

There are some misconceptions regarding what EBT recipients can do with their benefits. Some people believe that having EBT means automatically buying whatever foods they wish. While EBT benefits can open the door to a wide range of nutritious food options, there are some limitations to what you can buy. 

EBT covers cold food items you can find at your local grocery store and beyond. 

You can buy a wide variety of food items as long as they’re cold. These include

  • Dairy Products
  • Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Snacks

Items You Can’t Buy With EBT

The aim of EBT is to give families access to healthy foods that would be nearly impossible to afford otherwise. While EBT can help put food on the table, it does have a few restraints in place to ensure benefits are used properly. For instance, if you’re looking to use EBT benefits to purchase alcohol, you’ll be disappointed as you cannot buy alcoholic beverages with EBT. 

The USDA created the mandate in an effort to curb the use of EBT purchases in liquor stores.

Also, your EBT benefits don’t cover tobacco products such as cigarettes, vape pens, or chewing tobacco.

Other products such as

  • Vitamins
  • Live Animals
  • Medications
  • Non-food items
  • Hot foods (like Rotisserie Chicken)

Before you head to the store, be sure that you have a thorough understanding of the eligibility of your items so you can get everything you need.

Some Lawmakers Want To Allow EBT Recipients to Buy Rotisserie Chicken

Although the current laws prohibit recipients from buying hot foods like Rotisserie Chicken with their EBT card, some lawmakers are trying to change that.

“The fact that you can use SNAP to purchase a frozen, breaded chicken, but not a hot rotisserie chicken or a salad from a grocery store salad bar, frankly, makes no sense,” said Illinois Representative Bobby Rush.

Rush and several other lawmakers have promoted bill H.R.6338 — called the SNAP PLUS Act of 2021, which would expand the items that SNAP recipients could purchase with their EBT cards.

As of late 2022, however, there has been little progress made on advancing the bill into law.

Stigmas Surrounding EBT

Unfortunately, some people have reservations about using their EBT benefits publicly. This may have to do with receiving unsolicited backlash from others. For instance, some purchases involving EBT benefits can take a little extra time at the cash register. Some people don’t appreciate being inconvenienced in any way, especially at the grocery store or when they want to have a quick trip. 

The issue of being inconvenienced by someone using EBT benefits can stir up cruel attitudes and biases from others. Some people mistreat those who use EBT benefits because they may either believe themselves to be better than them.

Also, there are some people that have the mindset that EBT users somehow take away resources that other people may need. This kind of mindset is dangerous and can cause people to treat others unfairly based on an inaccurate belief. 

The stigmas that negative mindsets create can make EBT users afraid to use their benefits, and some may take additional measures such as going to the store during non-peak hours to avoid large crowds and potential embarrassment. The decision to utilize government benefits takes courage, as it can be difficult to accept needing help.

The Final Verdict On EBT Benefits

EBT benefits are an essential tool that many families rely on to address food deficiencies. Knowing what you can buy and what your benefits don’t cover are crucial for making the best use of your EBT.  Although you can’t use EBT to purchase hot items, it still opens the door for you to make food purchases that can sometimes be hard to reach.

As you use EBT, it can be intimidating to understand the processes that come with it as well as potential judgment from others. Nonetheless, EBT is a vital part of many homes and helps them bridge the gap in their nutritional needs.

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