Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Is My Store Eligible?

Last Published: 05/09/2018

To find out if your store is eligible to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), please review the information on this page. 

Staple Food Requirements

SNAP authorized stores must meet one of two staple food requirements: Criterion A (staple food inventory) or Criterion B (staple food sales).   

Staple foods are the basic foods that make up a significant portion of a person’s diet and are usually prepared at home and eaten as a meal.  Staple foods do not include prepared foods, heated foods, or accessory foodsFor more information about staple foods, please see the What are Staple Foods? document located at the bottom of this webpage.

There are 4 staple food categories:

  1. vegetables or fruits;
  2. dairy products;
  3. meat, poultry, or fish;
  4. breads or cereals.  

Criterion A requires a store to stock, on a continuous basis, a certain variety and quantity of staple foods in each of the 4 staple food categories, including some perishable staple foods.  Most stores are authorized under Criterion A.  

3 Stocking Units of 3 Staple Food Varieties in each of the 4 Staple Food Categories including 3 Stocking Units of 1 Perishable Staple Food Variety  in at least 2 Staple Food Categories. 36 staple food stocking units are needed to meet Criterion A.


Criterion B requires a store to have more than 50 percent of its total gross retail sales from the sale of staple foods.  Specialty stores, like butcher shops, are often authorized under Criterion B.

Criterion B Calculation and Requirements. Total Gross Retail Sales = Non-Food Sales (Gasoline, Lottery, Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Non-food) minus  Prepared/ Heated Food Sales minus Accessory Food  Sales equals Staple Food Sales.  If Staple Food Sales are more than 50 percent of Total Gross Retail Sales, then the store meets Criterion B requirements.

For more information on Criteria A and B eligibility, please see Retailer Eligibility – Clarification of Criterion A and Criterion B Requirements and watch the SNAP Staple Food Requirements Video which is located at the bottom of this webpage.   

Other Eligibility Considerations

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) may also take other factors into account when determining the eligibility of your store, including but not limited to:

Other Retailer Eligibility Resources

Questions?  Please contact