Have you heard of the program SNAP? Looking out for its citizens and their betterment has been one of the top priorities of the U.S. Government. The United States has a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance for low income and no-income people living in the country. This is all in a bid to put food on the table.
The SNAP means a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This program was formerly known and still commonly known as the Food Stamp Program. This is a federal aid program that has been administered by the United States Department of Agriculture under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
The benefits of SNAP are distributed by specific departments of the United States such as Division of Social Services, Department of Health and Human Services, etc. The benefit has once supplied about forty million Americans at an expenditure of over fifty-seven billion dollars (US$57 OOO OOO OOO).
The program is the largest nutrition program of the fifteen administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). It is also a key component of the social safety net for low-income Americans. SNAP has supported the economy of the great America and has also created jobs.
Benefits Of SNAP
SNAP is the largest program that is working to fight hunger in America. The benefits of SNAP are delivered monthly through electronic debit cards. These are used to purchase groceries at one of the authorized retailers. SNAP has more than two hundred and thirty-eight thousand (238 000) nationwide.
The program SNAP is focused on the citizens that are mostly at risk of not being capable of providing food for their selves. The program predominantly serves households with children, elderly or/ and even disabled members. Almost half of all the participants of SNAP are children. Here are some of the SNAP benefits programs.
- SNAP Food Benefits: This helps to provide food or allows access to food.
- TANF Cash Help: This means Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- Health Care: SNAP also makes available some health care benefits.
- Support Services: This helps with daily living needs for those who are older or who have a disability.
- WIC Food Benefits: This a supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children.
These are some of the benefit programs under SNAP.
SNAP Food Benefits
There are a variety of foods the SNAP Benefits to buy, although there are a few restrictions to what one can buy. Most of the foods the SNAP Benefits allow are staple foods. The following are some of the foods that you can buy are;
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
- Dairy products.
- Snack foods.
- Non-alcoholic beverages.
There are also some types of food that households cannot use SNAP benefits to buy. They are;
- Vitamins supplements.
- Prepared foods fit for instant consumptions (fast foods).
- Hot foods.
- Live animals. This is with the exception of shellfish, fish removed from water and/ or animals slaughtered prior to pick up from the store.
- Nonfood items like pet food, hygiene items, cosmetics, paper products, cleaning supplies and other household supplies.
These mentioned items cannot be purchased using the SNAP.
The eligibility for this program is limited to people with gross income that is up to 130% of the federal poverty line. One’s eligibility is determined by the state in which one resides. As a citizen of the United States for you to get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state in which you currently live.
In the course of applying you must meet certain requirements like resource and income limits. Each state has a different application form and process and the state’s agency must be contacted directly to apply by a member of your household.
One can receive benefits of SNAP with seven days of the date of application if you are deemed eligible by your state and even met all the additional requirements. The total amount of SNAP benefits one household can get each month is called an Allotment.
By now, you already get the memo that SNAP is a program that helps people to buy the food they need for good health. The allotment is the amount of money the program gives and it is per family size. For one or a family to get this allotment, there is a maximum monthly amount or income limits they have to meet.
The maximum monthly income limits per family size are as follows
- Family size = 1. Monthly amount of income allowed = $1,718.
- Family size = 2. Monthly amount of income allowed = $2,326
- A family size = 3. Monthly amount of income allowed = $2,933
- Family size = 4. Monthly amount of income allowed = $3,541
- Family size = 5. Monthly amount of income allowed = $4,149
- For each additional person, add: $608
Having met the monthly income limits, there is a maximum monthly allotment (SNAP Amount) that can be received per family size.
- Family size = 1. Monthly SNAP amount = $194
- Family size = 2. Monthly amount = $355
- A family size of 3. Monthly amount = $509
- Family size = 4. Monthly amount = $646
- Family size = 5. Monthly amount = $768
- A family size of 6. Monthly amount = $921
- Family size = 7. Monthly amount = $1,018
- Family size = 8. Monthly amount = $1,164
- For each additional person, add: $146
If you are eligible by your state, you will receive the benefits on an EBT card. EBT simply means Electronic Benefit Transfer. The EBT card actually works like a debit card. The benefits are automatically loaded into your account each month.
One can use the EBT card to buy groceries at authorized stores and retailers. After receiving SNAP benefits, one can only authorize the transfer of the government benefits from a federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received.
EBT, Electronic Benefits Transfer is currently being used in all fifty (50) states in the United States of America, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. The Electronic Benefits Transfer has been implemented in all the states since June 2004.
This program has actually come in handy during the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the United States of America really hard. Now, that the nation is on lockdown and most works are stopped in order to contain and manage the disease, SNAP has stepped in to help rescue families and even individuals from hunger and poverty at large.