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December 28, 2009
Food stamps on the rise

Use in Idaho

In Idaho, the average is about 10 days for regular food stamps and one day for emergency food stamps.

About 30 percent of all applications fall into the emergency category, which is determined after analyzing housing costs, income and assets, among other factors.

In September alone, the most recent data available, Idaho issued $20,431,000 of federal dollars to food stamp recipients in the state.

Quest Card

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, or Quest Card, as it is more commonly known, can be used in card scanners at grocery stores. Food stamp benefits are posted to Quest Cards during the first five days of the month.


The amount of assistance those eligible receive is based on many factors, including income, housing costs, citizenship and household size.

What you can and can't buy with food stamps

  • Breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat
  • Food stamps can't be used to purchase beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco, or any nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, vitamins and medicines.
  • Food stamps also do not cover food that will be eaten in the store, and hot foods.

Penalties for misusing food stamps

If you are convicted of the following offenses, you are ineligible for food stamp benefits for life:

  • Trading food stamp benefits for controlled substances a second time (the first offense makes you ineligible for benefits for 24 months)
  • Trading food stamp benefits for firearms, ammunition or explosives.
It is illegal to buy, sell, trade, give away or transfer food stamp benefits.