Can you buy sushi with EBT? It’s a question that many people are asking, especially if they are new to receiving food benefits or P-EBT benefits. If you’ve ever wondered this, we’ve found answers!
What is EBT?
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is the method that the government uses to distribute funds from a variety of benefit programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). These programs help low income people across the United States afford their basic necessities like food.
Of all the programs that distribute money on EBT cards, the SNAP program is used by the most people. About 42 million Americans rely on SNAP EBT benefits in order to feed themselves and their families. The SNAP program is also most restrictive about what you can purchase with your EBT benefits.
Can you buy sushi with EBT?
Yes! You can buy sushi with your EBT card, as it is considered an edible food.
The USDA has strict rules about what you can and cannot buy with your EBT card. Sometimes the rules are contradictory and there are exceptions, but generally you’re only allowed to purchase edible food that is meant for human consumption.
For example, you can use SNAP EBT benefits to purchase any food for your household including:
- Fruits & vegetables
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Snack foods
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that produce food
Generally, you cannot use your SNAP EBT benefits to purchase any of these things:
- Alcohol or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines or supplements
- Live animals (except shellfish)
- Hot foods that are ready-to-eat at time of sale
- Non-food items
However, since sushi is a food that is not usually hot at the time-of-sale, it is possible to buy sushi with EBT. Make sure it is in the refrigerated or frozen section of the grocery store and you should be good to go. Sushi made fresh in the seafood department may not be eligible for purchase with food stamps.
Please be aware that some retailers may incorrectly mark sushi as ineligible for purchase with EBT. That’s because some people consider it a grey area, since it is technically prepared food but it is also a cold food.
What kinds of sushi are eligible?
There are many different varieties of sushi but all of them are designed for human consumption and therefore should be EBT-eligible. This includes:
- and others.
How do you buy sushi with EBT?
Buying sushi with EBT is easy! You just need to find an eligible sushi item and pay with your EBT card.
You can ring up all of your eligible and ineligible purchases at once. When you check out, swipe your EBT card first and it will cover all of the eligible items in your transaction. If you’ve bought any ineligible items, they will not be paid with the EBT card. You’ll need to have a second payment method ready to buy those.
Where can you buy sushi with EBT?
There are many retailers and even convenience stores that accept EBT. Most stores that accept EBT will have a sign on the door that indicates they accept EBT benefits.
You can buy sushi with EBT at most major grocers, including:
- Fred Meyer
- Whole Foods
- and more!
Can you buy grocery store sushi with EBT?
Yes! You can buy grocery store sushi with EBT as long as the product is in the cold refrigerated section of your grocery store. EBT benefits typically will not pay for hot food that is ready-to-eat at the time of purchase.
Can you buy restaurant sushi with EBT?
Sometimes! If you live in a state that participates in the Restaurant Meals Program and you are eligible to participate in that program, you may be able to buy restaurant sushi with EBT. For example, Senor Sushi in Mesa and Peoria, Arizona, participates in Arizona’s Restaurant Meals Program.
You can also make your own sushi with EBT.
If you would prefer your sushi fresh and ready to eat, you can also buy the ingredients needed to make it at home. That’s because sushi is made of rice, fish, vegetables, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sriracha, wasabi and other food ingredients. You can find some sushi recipes online, if you would like to try to make it at home.