How to Use Food Stamp EBT Card

People who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as the Food Stamp Program until Oct. 1, 2008, use an EBT card to purchase groceries. SNAP is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service, but it is administered locally through state agencies. While each store may have a slightly different way of accommodating EBT cards, the cards typically are used in the same way as a debit card or a credit card.

Shop for groceries. Keep those items that are covered by SNAP separate from items not covered and for which you must pay with cash, check or a credit or debit card.

Alert the cashier that you will be using an EBT card to pay for groceries before the cashier begins to scan your purchases.


Swipe your EBT card when the scanner prompts you to do so or when the cashier asks you to proceed.


Enter your EBT card PIN just as you would enter the PIN for a debit card.


Protect EBT card and keep your PIN safe and secure.


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