It seems there is precious little that the swipe of a plastic SNAP benefits card can't secure at the supermarket in Massachusetts, but food for your pet is one item that is not allowed.

According to the Massachusetts-based non-profit Project Bread, "Being a client of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) has many benefits that often go unnoticed."

"You can purchase tickets to museums and cultural events at a discount, buy MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) tickets at a lower fare, and more," with your EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card, says Project Bread.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

But you cannot purchase food for your dog, cat or canary with your SNAP benefits.

Project Bread says, "While these funds are flexible for both the types of groceries you purchase and where you purchase them from, there are a few important limitations to be aware of before you head to the checkout."

Massachusetts SNAP Recipients Can't Use Benefits To Buy Pet Food

The USDA's (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Food and Nutrition Services Division says SNAP recipients may use their benefits to buy fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, breads, cereals, snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages, but you cannot purchase pet food.

You can buy seeds and plants to grow food.

Items you cannot use SNAP benefits to buy include beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, marijuana, vitamins, supplements, medicines, live animals (except shellfish and fish removed from water), hot foods (including rotisserie chickens), cleaning supplies, paper products (toilet paper), household supplies, hygiene items and cosmetics."

Did I mention pet food? says, "Pet food falls into the category of items that are not for humans." The site says, "The United States Department of Agriculture are the ones that forbid people from using these benefits in order to buy stuff for pets." suggests there are "loopholes," and recommends applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for help paying for pet items such as food. I cannot vouch for this recommendation.

LOOK: Can you tell the difference between these common pets?

Can you tell the difference between a hamster and a guinea pig? How about a betta and a guppy? Test your pet ID skills in our cute quiz. 

Gallery Credit: Stephen Lenz

Why do giraffes have long necks? Answers to 25 animal evolution questions:

Stacker curated a list of 25 animal evolution questions and answers to explain some scientific mysteries, from why giraffes have such long necks to how ants can carry 50 times their body weight. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420