Monday, February 20, 2012

The Place to Find SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Information

SNAP (which was once known, and still is somewhat, as "food stamps"), can be confusing.  It's funded by the federal government, and has some federal rules, but also has state rules, too.  How do you find information about it?

Here's sort of Information Central: the USDA SNAP page.  It has terrific links, including links to each of the 32 states that have online applications.  They have a page that lists all the toll-free hotlines to the individual state's information, and links to each state's webpage of local SNAP application offices
Better yet, each state's page carries a list of advocacy groups that are willing to work with people, explain the in's and out's of eligibility, and give more information on how to get benefits.  There's also a webpage that allows you to put in your town, zip code, or even address, and give you a list of the nearest stores that accept SNAP.  You can use their online pre-screening tool to see if you are eligible for benefits in your state,  and follow their 10 steps to check your eligibility.  And if you just want to talk to a federal human being, the USDA hotline number for SNAP is 1-800-221-5689.

If you already receive SNAP benefits, 41 states and the District of Columbia also have online systems to check your account online, and the link is here.

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