Using Food Stamps has been one of the ways the United States of America helps to provide food for citizens who find it difficult to provide for themselves and even households. The system has over the years in the U.S. saved and sustained people during difficult and trying times.
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The United States of America has come up with a way of looking after and providing basics needs like food benefits, health care, social services for its citizens. Over the past decades food stamps have really come in handy for the Americans that cannot provide for themselves. It originated from the Food Stamps Program.
Food Stamps Program
Food Stamps are gotten as benefits from a federal program in the country. The Food Stamps program is currently called SNAP. SNAP means the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This program gives benefits like food benefits and medical care benefits to citizens mostly whose gross income is below the federal poverty line of the country.
This program provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income people and also to no-income people. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administered this program as a federal aid to citizens under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The aid is to distribute benefits through specific departments of states in the United States of America. so far, the program has grown to be one of the biggest nutrition program ever administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, FNS.
Initially, the program only gave out these stamps to benefactors which can be used to buy food items. The stamps were orange and blue stamps mostly in times of crisis, wars, or a pandemic. The orange stamps could be used to purchase any kind of food item from the designated stores and retailers and the blue stamp could be used to buy food that has been determined by the department to be surplus.
What Can You Buy With Food Stamps
These food stamps were sent to citizens who applied for benefits from the program. They can be used to buy food from any eligible stores or retailers. However there are some food items that are allowed and some that are not permitted to be purchased. Some of the items one cannot buy using the food stamps are;
- Hot food
- Tobacco products like tobacco and cigarettes.
- Alcoholic beverages like liquor, wine, etc.
- Non-food items
- Pet food
- Paper products
- Household supplies
- Grooming items and
Having mentioned that, some of the items that food stamps can permit purchases are listed below;
- Steak and deli meats
- Dairy products
- Snacks crackers
- Ice cream
- Seeds and plants that can produce food for the household
- Soft drinks
- Bakery items
- Pumpkins (the ones that are edible)
- Live seafood (such as lobster, fish, and shellfish)
- Energy drinks (the ones that a nutrition label)
These are some of the items that can be purchased with a food stamp.
Food Stamps Eligibility | Food Stamps Benefits By States
For you to be eligible to receive these benefits, you have to first apply for the benefits and also meet all the requirements. In applying, you have to send a copy of a duly signed application form via online or summiting the form at any of the local county agency’s office closest to your location in the very state of residence.
After submission, you have to meet the requirement of the state. The requirement for eligibility is different for every state. Some of the requirements needed to be met by a state are as follows;
- Household gross income: the gross income must not exceed the maximum allowed limits of the 130% of the federal poverty line by the state. The maximum income allowed is different for each family size. This means that a family size of 1 has a different maximum income allowed from a family size of six. This maximum income limit allowed is different for every state.
- Employment requirements: your employment status is important information. You cannot leave a job intentionally or reduce working hours. You must be registered to work and also to take a job if offered.
- The resources of your household must be determined including your bank account. Also specify if there is anyone above the age of 60 or is disabled in the family.
- Specify if you are a non-citizen.
Meeting up with these requirements puts you up for consideration for eligibility. If deemed eligible by the state, you can receive your food stamps benefits with seven days.