Using NA Benefits
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
The Nutrition Assistance program is one of the programs administered by FAA.
NA benefits are used like cash to purchase food items and most grocery stores accept them. NA benefits are accessed through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) process.
The amount of NA benefits that a participant may receive is based on the USDA Thrifty Food Plan. The Thrifty Food Plan is an estimate of what it costs to provide nutritious but inexpensive meals. For more information, see Thrifty Food Plan.
Quick Access Menu:
NA Allowable Purchases
NA benefits may be used to buy the following:
Food products for human consumption, including baked goods
Vegetable seeds, food-producing plants, roots, and trees
Items considered health foods such as wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds packaged for human consumption, rose hips powder, and enriched or fortified foods
Baby formula
Diabetic or dietetic foods
Deposits on returnable bottles or containers
Distilled water or ice labeled for human consumption
Items used in the preparation or preservation of food such as spices and herbs, pectin, lard, or shortening
Meals prepared for and delivered or served to elderly or handicapped NA participants, when the organization is authorized to accept NA
Snack food such as candy, potato or tortilla chips, chewing gum and soft drinks
Participants can buy meals with NA benefits from community dining places and restaurants that have been approved by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Restaurant Meals Program. The participant must meet one of the following:
Are elderly
Have a disibility
Are homeless
The Farmers' Market Project allows NA participants to purchase food items at certain farmer's markets. See, Farmer’s Market Project for more information.
The EBT Online Purchase Pilot allows NA participants to purchase allowable food items online from authorized online vendors. (See FAA Pilot Programs(g))
NA Non-Allowable Purchases
Items that cannot be bought with Nutrition Assistance (NA) benefits include the following:
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
Non-food items such as soap and toiletries, paper products, cleaning products and cooking utensils
Live animals, except shellfish and fish removed from water
Items used for gardening such as fertilizer, peat moss and similar products
Items not intended for human consumption such as laundry starch, dog and cat food, seeds packaged as bird seed, and decorative dye that is used to color hard-cooked eggs
Vitamins and minerals, in any form
All health aids such as aspirin, cough drops or syrups and other cold remedies, antacids and all prescription medicines
Hot foods and hot food products sold in grocery stores, hot at the time of sale and ready for immediate eating
All foods marketed to be heated and served on the premises, and any prepared food sold to be eaten on the premises
Hot foods, hot food products, and food marketed to be heated on the premises and ready to eat, are allowable at participating Restaurant Meals Program retailers for the following participants:
Are elderly
Have a disibility
Are homeless
NOTE NA benefits may not be used to pay for credit or charge accounts.
Legal Authorities
last revised 12/27/2022