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Store Eligibility Requirements

SNAP authorized stores must meet one of two staple food requirements:

  • Criterion A - staple food inventory; or

  • Criterion B - staple food sales

Staple foods are the basic foods that make up a significant portion of a person’s diet. They are usually prepared at home and eaten as a meal. They do not include prepared foods, heated foods, or accessory foods.

Staple food categories:

  1. vegetables or fruits

  2. dairy products

  3. meat, poultry, or fish

  4. breads or cereals

Criterion A


A store must have 3 stocking units of 3 different varieties for each staple food category on a continuous basis. For 2 staple food categories, there must be at least 1 perishable variety. Most stores are authorized under Criterion A.

Criterion B
A store must have more than 50 percent of its total gross retail sales from the sale of staple foods. Specialty stores, like butcher shops, are often authorized under Criterion B


Determination of authorization
An applicant shall provide sufficient data and information on the nature and scope of the firm's business for FNS to determine whether the applicant's participation will further the purposes of the program. Upon request, an applicant shall provide documentation to FNS to verify information on the application. Such information may include, but is not limited to, State and local business licenses, Social Security cards, drivers' licenses, photographic identification cards, bills of sale, deeds, leases, sales contracts, State certificates of incorporation, sales records, invoice records and business-related tax records. 

    Retail food stores and wholesale food concerns and other entities eligible for authorization also shall be required to sign a release form which will authorize FNS to verify all relevant business related tax filings with appropriate agencies. In addition, they must obtain corroborating documentation from other sources as deemed necessary to ensure the legitimacy of applicant firms, as well as the accuracy of information provided by the stores and concerns. Failure to comply with any request for information or failure to sign a written release form shall result in denial of the application for authorization or withdrawal of a firm or concern from the program.


Pay for almsot anything with your ebt card. 

Important information about the FNS program:

If your business has be disqualified permanently from the program you may not apply for SNAP, however you can apply to accept EBT cash benefits. EBT cash benefits is a separate program from SNAP. You can contact us by phone or email for more information.

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