One thing that a lot of households have in common is the fact that they struggle to keep up with how much grocery shopping costs. Oftentimes, people feel hopeless, like there is no support out there. Thankfully, that may not be the case! That’s because a lot of households qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) without even realizing it. SNAP is a program that focuses on helping families handle the cost of food every month. How does this program do that? How much can households actually get from this? All of these questions (and then some!) will be answered in this article.
SNAP 101: What to Know
Before learning about how much SNAP can provide, you want to make sure you have a clear understanding of the program as a whole! Thankfully, the program is pretty straightforward. Every month, recipients will get funds. These funds are deposited onto an EBT card. This card is basically the household’s grocery debit card. However, it can only buy certain foods like produce, dairy products, breads, and so on. It’s also important to know that not every store accepts these cards as a form of payment! Luckily, lots of major retailers accept EBT so you will likely not come across issues often.
When it comes to what households get on a monthly basis, SNAP is known for the monthly funds that come on an EBT card. However, there are other perks that SNAP recipients can come across! This can include:
- Savings on utility bills
- Internet savings
- Discounts at places like museums and certain organizations
- Job support
- Free school meals
While these are nice additional perks, most people appreciate the monthly grocery assistance they get. That’s because it can provide a sizable amount of support! For example, a family of five can get up to $1,155 per month. Keep in mind this number is only valid until September 30th, 2024. That’s because the specific amounts are subject to change every year! The exact amount will vary but there are maximums in place for all family sizes!
Determining SNAP Eligibility
When it comes to whether or not a household qualifies, the only way to truly determine is through submitting an application. The application process can be handled at your local SNAP agency. The specific process will vary by state, however, there are general requirements that people need to meet in order to qualify. Some of these eligibility requirements include:
- Staying within income limits
- Not surpassing resource limits
- Having a valid status of citizenship
Keep in mind that you will need to have documentation together as well. That’s because the SNAP agency will need to verify the information you put on your application. One of the biggest perks to the SNAP application is the fact that it is completely free. That means applicants can have some weight off their shoulders knowing that handing in an application won’t result in any sunken costs.
Other Food Assistance Programs to Consider
While SNAP is one great support option when it comes to handling food expenses, it’s not the only one. In fact, the government has created a variety of different food assistance opportunities that can help people! These support options include:
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
Keeping up with the cost of groceries is getting harder for a lot of people. When households find themselves in this situation, it can feel like there are no support opportunities out there. Luckily, through food assistance options like SNAP, certain households are able to get monthly funds for groceries. These funds are provided on an EBT card. Besides SNAP, other food assistance programs may be able to help as well. That is why it’s important to stay in the loop to know what’s out there.