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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 5101:4-1-04 | Food assistance: benefit issuance and use.


(A) How are supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits issued?

SNAP benefits are issued to assistance groups on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card using a direct access system known as an EBT on-line system.

(B) What can assistance groups use SNAP benefits for?

SNAP benefits can be used by assistance group members to purchase eligible foods, including seeds and plants, for home consumption and use. Items allowed to be purchased with the EBT card are established by the United States department of agriculture (USDA) food and nutrition service (FNS) and are described in rule 5101:4-1-03 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Must an applicant have a place to prepare food to be eligible for SNAP benefits?

Assistance groups are not required to have cooking facilities or access to cooking facilities to be eligible for SNAP benefits.

(D) Where can an EBT card be used?

Local FNS field offices are responsible for the licensing and monitoring of retail food stores participating in the SNAP program. FNS will authorize participation of:

(1) Retail food outlets;

(2) Communal dining facilities;

(3) Meals on wheels programs;

(4) Drug and alcohol treatment centers;

(5) Residents of group living arrangements;

(6) Cooperatives;

(7) Homeless meal providers, including soup kitchens;

(8) Shelters for battered persons and children.

(E) What is a communal dining facility?

A communal dining facility is a public or nonprofit establishment, authorized by FNS, which prepares and serves meals for elderly persons or supplemental security income (SSI) recipients and their spouses. It also includes senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by the elderly or SSI recipients and their spouses, or private nonprofit establishments (eating or otherwise) that feed elderly persons or SSI recipients and their spouses, and federally subsidized housing for the elderly at which meals are prepared for and served to the residents.

(F) What is a meals on wheels program?

A meals on wheels program is a nonprofit meal delivery service authorized to be a retailer that delivers meals to individuals who are sixty years of age or over, housebound, physically handicapped, or otherwise disabled to the extent they are unable to adequately prepare all their meals. Eligible assistance group members and their spouses may use benefits to purchase meals from a meals on wheels program.

(G) What is a cooperative?

A cooperative is a private nonprofit food purchasing venture authorized by FNS, which allows members to pool their resources to buy food. It also may allow members to pay for food prior to its receipt.

Last updated June 1, 2021 at 9:30 AM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 5101.54
Amplifies: 329.04, 329.042, 5101.54
Five Year Review Date: 6/1/2026
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/1980, 12/1/1980, 6/12/1983, 3/24/1988 (Emer.), 6/18/1988, 12/1/1994, 5/1/1996, 2/1/1999, 10/1/2001 (Emer.), 10/11/2001, 8/1/2005, 1/1/2011, 4/1/2016