Food Stamp Program – Food Stamp Benefits | EBT | Food Stamp Eligibility | Food Stamps Stores Eligibility

Filed in Blog by on April 21, 2020 0 Comments

We all have probably heard of the Food Stamp Program. It is a program in the United States of America that helps to provide food for the citizens in the country. This program has gone a long way in helping most of the citizens whose monthly income is not up to a particular percentage of the federal poverty line.

Food Stamp Program

Food Stamp Program

Food Stamps Program, as it is formerly and still commonly known, is a federal nutrition aid program that has been administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). This program helps you stretch your food budgets and buy healthy foods.

About Food Stamp

The program, now called SNAP, is a federal entitle program. However, it is not a welfare cash assistance program. The benefits are distributed by a specific department of the U.S. states. Some of these departments include the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Social Services, etc.

The idea of the program dates back to May 16, 1939 with credits to several persons in the country. Then, the program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps and blue stamps equal to their normal food expenditures. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food while blue stamps could be used to buy food determined by the department to be surplus.

The first recipient of the Food Stamps Program was Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York and the first retailer to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo. The Food Stamp Program which is now SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was renamed to its current name in 2008, through the 2008 Farm Bill beginning in October of that same year.

Due to the renaming of the program, all references were changed to stamp or coupon with card or EBT in the federal law. Over these years, the program has grown to become a key program in the country. It is currently the largest nutrition program among the fifteen programs administered by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture.

Food Stamp Benefits

To receive any benefits from this program, you would have to apply for it. If found eligible, one can receive benefits within seven days of application. These benefits are received in the form of EBT cards. The benefits of the program covers food items approved by the program, health / medical services and also some social services included.

EBT

The EBT card is sent to any beneficiary of the Food Stamp Program. It means the Electronic Benefit Transfer. This card contains the amount of money received. Also, this card can then be used to pay for purchases of foods or services. This card works like a debit card.

Different Food Stamp Services

Some of the benefits of SNAP are listed below.

  • SNAP food benefits: this helps people who cannot afford to feed themselves get access to food. These foods can only be purchased from retailers or farms or grocery stores that have been authorized by the program to accept such payment. Foods like dairy products, fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, meat, fish, poultry, plants, and seeds are approved by the Food Stamp Program. Foods like wine, beer, alcohol, liquor, pet foods, hot foods and also vitamins, medicines, paper products, household supplies, soaps, deodorant and menstrual care products.
  • WIC benefits: this makes provisions for WOMEN, INFANTS, and CHILDREN. The benefits provides these set of persons with all the basic needs. This program does not stop when the child is up to one year.
  • Support services: these are services rendered to the elderly, those with disabilities and those with mental challenges. Knowing these set of persons cannot take care of themselves, the program has made provisions for them too, so they are not left out of the benefits of the program. This program gives services like bathing, preparing meals, going shopping, and basically taking care of people who can by no means look after themselves.
  • Health care: this refers to some health care services that are vital to some of the citizens in the country. This service makes it easy for beneficiaries to gain access to some health care services that are truly needed by some persons.
  • TANF cash help: the TANF means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This cash help is only temporary and is meant for families mostly with elderly persons.

Food Stamp Eligibility

SNAP is a means-tested program and all the recipients of its benefits must meet all the eligibility criteria in order to receive its benefits. One has to apply for the benefits before one can be considered for eligibility. The application has now been made easy. One can now apply online and has to meet up with all the requirements. A face to face interview could be conducted, or a phone interview or home visit after an application has been submitted.

Things that considered by the program before eligibility is granted are family size, gross income made, resource and assets if there are any elderly or disabled persons, non-citizens,  and employment status. The family size is important as it helps the program calculated the maximum monthly income made by the family and the possible maximum amount of benefits that can be received from the program.

Income Allowed in Food Stamp

The following are the maximum income expected to be made per the size of the family. If the income made is higher than the maximum income allowed, this could render an applicant ineligible to receive any benefit from the program.

Income Allowed

  • For a family of 1. The gross maximum income allowed is $1,354 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $194
  • For a family of 2. The gross maximum income allowed is $1,832 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $355
  • A family of 3. The gross maximum income allowed is $2,311 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $504
  • For a family of 4. The gross maximum income allowed is $2,790 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $646
  • For a family of 5. The gross maximum income allowed is $3,269 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $768
  • A family of 6. The gross maximum income allowed is $3,748 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $921
  • For a family of 7. The gross maximum income allowed is $4,227 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,018
  • For a family of 8. The gross maximum income allowed is $4,708 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,164
  • A family of 9. The gross maximum income allowed is $5,184 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,310

More

  • For a family of 10. The gross maximum income allowed is $5,663 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,456
  • For a family of 11. The gross maximum income allowed is $6,142 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,602
  • A family of 12. The gross maximum income allowed is $6,621 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,748
  • For a family of 13. The gross maximum income allowed is $7,100 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $1,894
  • For a family of 14. The gross maximum income allowed is $7,579 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,040
  • A family of 15. The gross maximum income allowed is $8,058 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,186
  • For a family of 16. The gross maximum income allowed is $8,537 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,332
  • For a family of 17. The gross maximum income allowed is $9,016 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,478
  • A family of 18. The gross maximum income allowed is $9,495 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,624
  • For a family of 19. The gross maximum income allowed is $9,974 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,770
  • For a family of 20. The gross maximum income allowed is $10,453 and the maximum food stamp benefits received is $2,916

And for each additional member, an amount of $479 is added to the gross maximum income and an additional $146 is received as the maximum benefits.

Food Stamps Stores Eligibility

The stores that are eligible to accept an EBT card also have requirements to meet. These stores must major in the stocking and sales of staple foods.

Food Stamp Program has been able to supply about forty million Americans in 2018. It has provided employment opportunities for citizens and is also a key component of the social safety net for low income.

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