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Can you buy protein powder with food stamps?

Yes, you can buy protein powder with food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, if it is labeled as nutrition facts and not supplement facts. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes foods eligible for purchase with food stamps. These items must fall under the category of foods that provide nutritional value1.

Protein powders labeled with "Nutrition Facts" are considered food products and are eligible for purchase using SNAP benefits. This label indicates that the product is intended for consumption as a food item and contributes significantly to your daily dietary intake. Conversely, protein powders labeled as "Supplement Facts" are classified as supplements, which are not eligible for SNAP purchases because they are not necessary for a regular diet2.

SNAP recipients need to check the labeling on protein powder products before purchasing. This is because the eligibility to buy protein powders with food stamps can depend on how they are classified by regulatory authorities. To ensure compliance with SNAP guidelines, recipients should look for protein powders that provide complete nutritional information and are marketed primarily as food items rather than dietary supplements3.

To summarize, while you can buy protein powder with food stamps, the product must be labeled as a food item ("Nutrition Facts") and not a dietary supplement ("Supplement Facts"). This distinction helps ensure that SNAP benefits are used in accordance with federal guidelines aimed at promoting nutritional well-being among recipients4.

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Amazon also labels protein products that are SNAP-eligible which can be helpful in finding products.


  1. United States Department of Agriculture. (2022). SNAP Eligibility.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. (2021). How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label.
  3. Code of Federal Regulations. (2023). Labeling Requirements for Foods Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  4. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. (2019). Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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