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SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. The name change reflects the focus on nutrition and putting healthy foods within reach for low-income households. The state of Colorado refers to this program as Food Assistance. The SNAP/Food Supplemental Program is the only federal benefit program available nationwide to all who need it and meet eligibility standards, regardless of their age or family composition. SNAP is federally funded and helps low-income families buy nutritious food from retailers. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pays for SNAP benefits throughout the country, and the Department of Human Services manages and directs the program in Colorado.
Low-income people with dependent children and some people who are elderly or have disabilities are eligible for food stamp benefits. There is no time limit for food stamp benefits for people with children and people who are elderly or have disabilities.
Benefits are also available to able-bodied adults (ages 18-50) who have no children. However, these individuals must work at least 20 hours a week or meet other work requirements in order to receive food stamp benefits. If adults without dependent children do not meet work requirements, they are limited to three months of benefits in any 36-month period.
How does SNAP work?People who qualify for SNAP will be given an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card which looks and works like a bank ATM card. When you go through the checkout line at a supermarket, you pass or "swipe" the EBT card through the payment machine at the checkout stand. Then you enter a four digit PIN code. The cost of the food is then subtracted from your SNAP account automatically - just like a bankcard. EBT cards are accepted at most grocery stores and supermarkets. It is fast, simple and discreet.
SNAP benefits will help to stretch your food dollar. You can purchase food items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, fish, chicken, and cereals. You cannot use your EBT card to buy soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, tobacco or anything else that is not food.
For a comprehensive list of permissible foods to purchase with your EBT card, please click on the link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligible.htm
As the nation’s premier defense against hunger, SNAP has proven to be a benefit to both families and local businesses. They provide hunger relief for people with low incomes, and stimulate economic activity by bringing federal food dollars into local communities.
Determine Your SNAP Eligibility Online!
Residents of Colorado can now complete a preliminary eligibility screening tool online. All you have to do is complete a simple, fast, and anonymous online application and you’ll receive immediate feedback concerning your eligibility. You can also print out an application, get relevant contact information, and find out lots more about SNAP. https://peak.state.co.us/selfservice/
For more information about SNAP, please contact Amber Cote, Volunteer Services and Community Outreach Director at 719-434-4677 or SNAP@careandshare.org or visit her at one of Care and Share's outreach application assistance locations click here for information.
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