Providing for your family is one of the major responsibilities a breadwinner is tasked with. This involves making sure your family has access to essentials such as clothing, comfortable living conditions, and food. When a family’s income isn’t sufficient to put food on the table, meeting those needs becomes a struggle. Do you know that there’s a program that can provide you with food assistance every month? This article looks at the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), how it can benefit your family, and how to access it.
What is SNAP?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that supports low-income households in purchasing food. Also known as food stamps, SNAP is the largest domestic hunger alleviation program, assisting breadwinners in establishing food security for their households via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
The government refills the EBT cards – or food stamp cards every month, and they can be used to purchase groceries from approved retail stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, and even online delivery services such as Amazon and Walmart.
What Can You Buy With a Food Stamp Card?
|You can use the EBT card to purchase items such as:||You cannot use SNAP food benefits to purchase:|
|Plants and seeds to grow food for your family||Medicine|
|Poultry, meat, and fish||Tobacco products|
|Bread and cereals||Alcohol|
|Snacks and beverages||Non-food items like pet food, household supplies, paper products, and soap|
|Fruits and vegetables||–|
Benefits of SNAP
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers many benefits for low-income families. If eligible, people in need will be able to get access to food assistance every month. This could allow them to devote their income to taking care of other significant areas such as school fees, medication for a baby, utility bills, purchasing clothes, mortgages, and many more.
SNAP also lowers the severity of poverty and hardship in the country. According to a recent analysis, this food assistance program has kept nearly 8 million people above the poverty line, making it one of the strongest anti-poverty schemes in America.
How Much is SNAP?
The amount on the emergency food stamps varies from state. It is also dependent on your income and family size. The average SNAP for a family of 4 is $939 monthly.
Who is Eligible for SNAP?
The food stamp benefit is for everyone, whether employed or not. However, you must meet certain requirements to be eligible. To qualify for food stamps:
- You must be a US citizen or a person with eligible immigration status.
- Your household income must be less than the federal or state income limit. Use this poverty guideline checker to determine your state’s income limit.
- You are either disabled or unemployed.
- Your resources such as savings, bank accounts, and assets must be less than a certain amount.
How to Apply for the Food Assistance
You can apply for SNAP by visiting your state’s local food stamp office. You can use the SNAP State Directory of Resources to locate the nearest office to apply. Each state also has its own application forms. The application may involve an interview process, depending on your resident state.
Online applications may be available in some states.
If you don’t have an internet connection, you can call Project Bread at 1-800-645-8333. If your application gets approved, you will be issued an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card that will be refilled monthly.
Documentation Needed for SNAP
You will need the following documents to apply for the food assistance program:
- Physical identification
- Proof of citizenship or valid immigration status
- Medical expenses
- Household expenses
- Proof of disabilities, if any
- Proof of any school attendance, if any
- Proof of residence
- The size of your home
- Statement of income
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Receive A SNAP Card?
After submitting your SNAP application, it will take about 30 days for your application to be processed and approved. You will be informed either by phone call or email to come to pick up your EBT card.
What If Your SNAP Application Gets Denied?
If your application for food assistance gets denied, you will receive a letter detailing why your application was denied. The letter will also highlight the steps to take to challenge the decision. The appeal process may vary from state to state. Following the instructions in the letter is vital to appeal the decision.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is one of the benefits that low-income earners and households should claim. The SNAP food benefits are designed to lessen the burden of raising a family with insufficient funds. If eligible, you can purchase groceries from approved farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and retail stores, allowing your funds into other areas. Thankfully, our guide explored all you need to know about the benefit, including eligibility and how to apply for it.