What You Need To Know
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the food stamp program set up by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Florida, it is called Food Assistance program. It has been established to provide food benefits to the residents of a low-income household. This includes accessibility to health diet as well as education concerning food preparation and nutrition. The qualified individuals of this program make use of an electronic card to spend their benefits. It is similar to an ATM card which can be used to buy food from authorized retailers.
SNAP had been set up to help tackle any hunger problems that may take place. Therefore, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has administered it. It helps the member of the program to make more informed decisions about nutrition. In order to properly execute its operations, FNS takes the help of state agencies, nutrition educators and neighborhood-based organizations. They can also help them in ensuring that the benefits are properly accessed and made use of.
The acceptable purchases in this program are the food and plants and seeds required to grow food. It is not acceptable to purchase the following items:
- Nonfood items
- Pet food
- Alcoholic beverages
- Food that you will consume in the store
- Hot foods
The applications for this program are available in English, Spanish, and Creole which helps to cater to a larger audience.
Are You Eligible?
It is vital for the applicant to be a resident of the state of Florida. Along with these, there are other certain requirements that need to be fulfilled. This includes:
- They must have a current bank balance under $2,001
- They must have a current bank balance under $3,001 and share the household with either
- A person aged 60 and above, or
- A person with a disability.
The annual household income is also considered. The amount before taxes must be less than or equal to:
|Size Of Household||Maximum Annual Income Level ($)|
In case, the household size is greater than eight, an additional amount of $8,840 is considered. Therefore, it is a good step to consider getting in touch with the managing agency in your area. They will be able to provide you with the most recent and accurate guidelines.
There is also a pre-screening tool available to check the eligibility of SNAP. This tool requires you to look up the amounts of your:
- Rent or mortgage
- Utility bills
- Child support
- Daycare expenses
- Medical bills, in case you are 60 or above, or disabled.
- Any other payments.
Programs like these also offer services that have their own criteria. It is recommended that the person approaches the program in their community to gain more specific information. Low-income families who are able to fulfill such eligibility criteria can also consider other programs like
- Unemployment benefits
- Medicaid coverage
How To Apply
Application for this program is present on the online portal of the Florida Department of Children and Families. This makes the accessibility of the application process easier for people. They can simply apply from the comfort of their homes. They will simply be expected to enter all the necessary information into the application. Its accessibility makes it the fastest way to receive Food Stamps.
Florida agencies consider the receiving date of the completed application as the official data. The working days in this regard is considered rather than the weekend or holidays. The time duration for acceptance or rejection of the application can range from 7 to 30 days. It depends on the financial situation as well as other factors involved in the application. It is possible to also apply for the food stamp through the mail. It is easy to obtain a copy of the application through the local SNAP office. It can also be downloaded from the website. Either way, the applicant can then fax or return the form to the Florida Department of Children and Families center. In case such a customer service center is not available, other community partners can be considered.
For Further Information
In case of queries or any extra data required, General Information about Food Assistance is available on websites. Moreover, there are even other ways to contact the local SNAP office. The FNS has set up appropriate websites to help you get in contact. There is more than one way so that the person can adopt the method they feel most comfortable with.