What are the
requirements to accept
EBT for SNAP benefits?
A Store Owner's Guide to EBT Stocking Criteria from FNS
Learn how to accept EBT payments with this resource that will help new SNAP retailers understand the requirements to accept EBT for SNAP benefits by explaining the FNS stocking requirements. To ensure SNAP recipients have ample access to staple foods, the Food and Nutrition Services requires that SNAP retailers stock a specific selection of items.
Most convenience stores, small grocers and other retailers are authorized under Criterion A.
Under Criterion A, a store must have 3 stocking units of 3 different varieties for each of
the 4 staple food categories on a continuous basis.
This is a total of 36 foods that must
be stocked at any given time.
There must be 1 perishable item
in 2 of the staple food categories.
What might this look like for your store?
- 3x 100%
- 3x 100%
- 3x 100%
- 3x milk
- 3x yogurt
- 3x formula
- 3x loaf of
- 3x pasta
- 3x bagels
Meat + poultry
- 3x canned
- 3x beef
- 3x fresh / liquid
What are staple foods?
Staple foods are the basic food that make up a significant portion of a person’s diet
and do not include prepared foods, heated foods or accessory foods (food items
that complement meals). Staple foods can be divided into four categories:
What food items really qualify for
SNAP or food stamps as staple foods?
There are a number of foods that you already stock or could easily add to your shelves that will satisfy the stocking requirement. Foods like apples, oranges and potatoes qualify in the vegetable or fruit category, but so do applesauce, orange juice and frozen tater tots.
Stocking perishable items in two categories may be one of the more challenging requirements for retailers, but there are many items that qualify as perishable that you likely already have in your store.
Click on each image below to see examples of FNS-approved foods
for each staple category.
Items with an asterisk (*) are perishable.
Vegetables + fruits
- Frozen tater tots*
- 100% orange juice*
- Fresh Oranges*
- Dried apples
- Pre-cut apple
- Fresh bananas*
- Pre-cut and bagged romaine lettuce*
- Fresh deli
- Packaged grated
- Whole milk*
- Fresh salted butter*
- Fresh whole milk
Breads + Cereals
- A loaf of
- Dried pasta
- Corn or
- Plain bagels*
- Rice- or
- Frozen dinner rolls*
- Hot dog buns*
- A bag of rice
- Whole wheat pita*
Poultry + Fish
Meat + Poultry + Fish
- Fresh deli-sliced
- Frozen chicken
- Beef jerky
- Canned albacore
Under Criterion B, a store must have more than 50% of its total gross retail sales
from the sale of staple foods. Most convenience stores do not fit under this
model, as specialty stores are more commonly authorized under Criterion B.
Criterion B Calculation + Requirements
(Gasoline, Lottery, Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Non-food)
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