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Learn About SNAP Benefits in North Dakota

North Dakota food stamps are issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS). This service, which is also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), allows you to buy a wide variety of food items. When you are approved for assistance, you will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card that is loaded with funds each month. If you get more than one type of benefit from the DHS, your funds will usually be put onto the same card.

The amount of benefits you receive is meant to supplement your family’s grocery budget. As such, most families use their own money in addition to the benefits they receive each month. Read below to learn more about how SNAP benefits are calculated and discover which items you are allowed to buy with your benefits.

Which food items can you buy using food stamps in North Dakota?

The SNAP program allows you to buy a wide range of foods at many different locations. Before learning which products you can buy using SNAP food stamps, it is helpful to identify the establishments where you are allowed to shop with an EBT card.

Generally, food stamp benefits can be used at grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and farmers’ markets that participate in the program. In most cases, a store will display an EBT or QUEST logo by the door, which tells you that benefits are accepted at that location.

It is important to note that North Dakota SNAP benefits are accepted in every state. While the majority of households spend their benefits close to home, you are also allowed to use them in other states. This makes it easier to buy food if you live near a border with another state or want to travel around the country.

When shopping with SNAP assistance in North Dakota, you are only allowed to buy certain items. SNAP food benefits can be used on staple foods as well as accessory items. A staple item falls into one of the main food groups and is something that makes up the majority of your diet. Accessory foods, on the other hand, typically do not count as a whole meal on their own. With that in mind, you can buy any of the following types of items:

  • Fruits and vegetables, including any fresh, frozen or canned variety.
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt or infant formula.
  • Plant-based alternatives such as soy milk or tofu.
  • Grains, including bread, cereal or pasta.
  • Proteins, such as meat, eggs or fish.
  • Seeds and plants, which can be used to grow fruits and veggies at home.
  • Certain snack foods such as chips, cookies, crackers or candy.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, like tea, coffee, soda or energy drinks.
  • Cooking ingredients such as flour, sugar, baking soda or vegetable oil.
  • Condiments, like ketchup, mayonnaise or hot sauce.

Learn more about the products that you are allowed to purchase by reading our free guide.

Products You Cannot Buy Using Food Stamps in North Dakota

The food stamps program in North Dakota has several limitations that you must be aware of. For example, knowing where you cannot shop and which items are prohibited will help you plan ahead and avoid confusion.

Food stamps can never be spent in certain locations, including casinos, cruise ships or liquor stores. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees this program, has not authorized any such locations to take EBT cards. This means that you could not use your benefits at those establishments, even if you were to find an approved food item there.

With a few exceptions, you also cannot use food stamp benefits at restaurants. When a restaurant is authorized to take food stamps, it usually only serves people who are unable to cook at home. This can include SNAP beneficiaries who are elderly, homeless or disabled.

Additionally, North Dakota SNAP benefits cannot ever be withdrawn as cash. There is often confusion about this topic if you receive more than one type of benefit on your EBT card. That is because certain programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), may allow you to withdraw cash. However, the SNAP portion of your benefits cannot be used this way. You are not allowed to take food stamps out as cash at an ATM or get cash back with a purchase, even if you are shopping at an approved grocery store.

While SNAP food benefits can be used at a wide range of stores, there are certain items you are not allowed to purchase, even at approved stores. For example, you cannot spend food stamps on any of the following:

  • Alcohol, including beer, liquor and wine.
  • Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco.
  • Hot or ready-to-eat foods, such as a hot pizza or a meal from the deli counter.
  • Pet food or other items not meant for human consumption.
  • Vitamins, supplements and medicines.
  • Non-food items such as cookware, paper products or cleaning supplies.

How are food stamp benefits amounts calculated in North Dakota?

Looking at a food stamp calculator can help you determine if you are eligible for benefits such as SNAP or other DHS programs. A SNAP calculator will evaluate factors such as your household income and family size. However, these tools generally do not tell you the exact amount of benefits you may receive. Instead, a calculator will simply tell you if you meet the requirements for assistance based on your income and other factors.

The only way to see your exact food stamps amount is to apply for assistance. The DHS will tell you the benefits you can receive once you are approved. Keep in mind that your benefits may change over time. For example, if your income goes up or down, the amount of assistance you will receive may change accordingly. Learn more about the amount of benefits you may receive by reading our guide.

When do you start receiving SNAP benefits after applying in North Dakota?

If you are approved for food stamps in North Dakota after undergoing the application steps, your benefits will begin within 30 days of your application being received. The DHS may also grant emergency benefits within seven days if you have extremely limited resources or income.

Your first SNAP benefits allotment will be available as soon as you are approved. After that, your benefits will be loaded onto your EBT card on the first day of each month. This makes it easier to plan ahead for your shopping trips.

Last Updated: September 26, 2022