What is SNAP?
SNAP is one of the country’s most important anti-hunger programs. It provides financial support that many Americans may need to get their groceries and better budget for other expenses in their lives. SNAP participants receive monthly funds through an EBT card – similar to an ATM card – and use those funds to buy eligible food in authorized stores.
Am I eligible?
Although SNAP is a federal program, it is administered in Florida by the Department of Children and Families Office of Economic Sufficiency (ESS).
To get SNAP benefits, you must be a Florida resident and meet certain eligibility requirements. Some requirements include:
Your household must make a monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Household size vs Gross monthly income upper limit to be eligible for SNAP
1 / $2,265
2 / $3,052
3 / $3,838
4 / $4,625
You must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified noncitizen status.
One member of your household must provide a Social Security Number or proof that they have applied for one. This could even be a child in the household.
Healthy adults (16-59) without dependents can receive 3 months of SNAP benefits in a 3-year period if they are not working or in a work training program.
You can see if you qualify for SNAP benefits by using Feeding Tampa Bay’s SNAP screener. However, some people may be immediately ineligible, including individuals who are:
- Convicted of drug trafficking,
- Fleeing a felony warrant,
- Breaking SNAP Program rules,
- Non-citizens without a qualified status
What can I buy with my SNAP benefits?
You can use SNAP to buy breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and dairy. Additionally, you can use your benefits to buy plant seeds to grow your own food. SNAP benefits don’t apply to household items, liquor, tobacco products, medicines/vitamins, or hot foods.
Additionally, SNAP recipients can also take part in the Fresh Access Bucks program. The Feeding Florida initiative allows you to use your benefits to buy fresh fruits and veggies at farmers markets, mobile markets, CSAs, and grocery outlets. The program will match up to $20 that participants spend on fresh produce at participating retailers. This means that you can receive $40 worth of produce for only $20. For more information, check out this page on the Feeding Florida website!
If you have any questions about the SNAP application process, you can contact Feeding Tampa Bay’s SNAP team at SNAP@feedingtampabay.org. Our team is happy to help you in every way we can!
By Hannah Himmelgreen