Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): what is it?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the most far-reaching federal nutrition assistance program in the United States.

How the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Works

The main purpose of SNAP is to help low-income individuals and families by providing them with a card with which they can purchase selected foods at authorized stores.

SNAP serves as the primary source of monthly nutritional assistance for millions of low-income people.

In this way, it increases the purchasing power for food purchases for eligible households.

State agencies operate SNAP in accordance with national eligibility and benefit standards established by federal laws and regulations.

This implements strategies to promote healthy choices and prevent obesity among participants.

It also provides employment and training services to beneficiaries.

Who is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?

  • To be eligible, applicants must live in the state where they are applying and meet certain income limits.
  • Households with a senior (over age 60) or a member with a disability, at the minimum income level established by the program.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits

Freedom to buy their own food:

According to individual or family tastes, or that meets the dietary needs of the beneficiaries.

Purchase food at most places where groceries are sold:

Supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, even online with some major retailers and some farmers’ markets and cooperative programs.

All children in the household who attend school will automatically qualify for free school meals.

Automatic enrollment in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP):

This allows SNAP recipients to purchase more fruits and vegetables for their household each month from approved HIP providers.

These providers include farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share programs.

Currently, all SNAP recipients receive the maximum family benefit to assist in the pandemic recovery of a minimum of $250 per month.

Project Bread counselors can tell you whether or not you are eligible and help you apply.

Services are free to all Massachusetts residents.

You can contact them at 1-800-645-8333 or chat with a counselor using the live chat feature on the website.


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