The Wyoming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes it easier for you to afford groceries on a monthly basis. This program, also known as food stamps, provides monthly funds that you can spend on approved items.
There are many different places where you can spend your benefits, but it is important to learn what you can and cannot buy. Because the SNAP program allows you to buy such a wide variety of items, eligible products are usually not labeled in a special way. Therefore, it is up to you to know what items are approved.
In addition to learning what you can buy, it also helps to know how benefit amounts are determined. This will help you plan ahead better for shopping trips. Read below to learn more about using food stamp benefits in Wyoming and discover how and when your benefits will be available.
Which food items can you buy using food stamps in Wyoming?
After you are approved for SNAP food stamps in Wyoming, you will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card loaded with your funds. These cards can be used at many grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets and superstores. Most stores that participate in the food stamps program will display an EBT or QUEST logo in the window, indicating that you can spend your benefit at that location.
In general, SNAP benefits can be used at participating stores anywhere in the U.S. If you live near the border of another state or plan on traveling elsewhere in the country, you can still use your benefits while shopping.
SNAP food benefits can be spent on many different kinds of food items. Some items are staple foods, meaning that they come from one of the main food groups. These items can sometimes constitute a full meal on their own.
Moreover, the SNAP program allows you to buy accessory foods, which are things that complement a meal but cannot necessarily be eaten alone with nothing else. For example, cooking ingredients such as flour are considered accessory items.
SNAP assistance can usually be spent on approved foods that come in any form. For example, if you need fruit, you can buy it fresh, frozen, dried or canned. There are some exceptions to this for certain types of food, which are explained in the next section. With that in mind, approved food items include the following:
- Fruits, vegetables and herbs.
- Meat, fish, other seafood, eggs and poultry.
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter or infant formula.
- Seeds and plants that you can grow at home.
- Bread, cereal, pasta and other grains.
- Snack foods such as chips, crackers, nuts or candy.
- Cooking ingredients like flour, salt, sugar or baking soda.
- Beverages such as tea, juice, coffee or soda.
- Condiments like ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise.
This list does not include every approved product. To learn more about the types of food you can buy, download our guide.
Products You Cannot Buy Using Food Stamps in Wyoming
Learning what you cannot spend food stamp benefits on will help avoid confusion at the store. Some types of items are never allowed under this program, such as the following:
- Alcohol including any beer, wine or liquor.
- Cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products.
- Non-food items such as soap, paper products or pet food.
- Household goods like cookware, food storage containers or dishes.
- Vitamins, medicines or supplements.
Certain food items are also prohibited under the SNAP program, which can cause confusion. For example, you cannot buy any prepared foods that are meant for immediate consumption. This may include cheese platters, a deli sandwich or fruit trays. However, you are allowed to buy cheese or fruit that you cut up yourself, as well as ingredients that you can use to make sandwiches at home.
Similarly, Wyoming food stamps cannot be used to buy hot foods such as a rotisserie chicken, wings from the deli or a hot pizza. However, you could buy an uncooked chicken or a frozen pizza to make at home. The important thing to remember is that food stamp benefits cannot be spent on food that is prepared to be eaten immediately.
With that in mind, you usually cannot spend SNAP benefits at restaurants. There are very few restaurants that work with the SNAP program, and those that do usually are only allowed to serve people who are unable to cook for themselves at home. This may include elderly, homeless or disabled beneficiaries.
Wyoming SNAP assistance cannot be withdrawn as cash either. If you receive other types of benefits on the same EBT card, keep in mind that the rules are different for each of these programs. The SNAP portion of your benefits can never be taken out at an ATM or requested as cash back with a purchase.
Lastly, you are not allowed to spend SNAP benefits in certain locations. Cruise ships, casinos, liquor stores and other similar places are never authorized to take EBT cards.
How are food stamp benefits amounts calculated in Wyoming?
The amount of Wyoming SNAP assistance you receive is based on your income and household size, which are factors that determine your overall eligibility for the program. There is no standard allotment of food stamps due to the fact that each family’s situation is different.
A food stamp calculator can be a useful tool for determining if you qualify for assistance. However, a SNAP calculator will not usually tell you the exact amount of benefits you can receive each month.
When do you start receiving SNAP benefits after applying in Wyoming?
Wyoming food stamps will be issued within 30 days if your application is approved. In some cases, you can get emergency assistance that starts in as little as seven days if you have extremely limited income. Either way, the date your benefits start is based on when your application was received.
Food stamp benefits are loaded onto your EBT card on the same day each month once they begin. You should have access to your new funds regardless of whether that day lands on a weekend or holiday. Download our free guide for more information on how to use your benefits.