Food Stamps Program FAQs

There are many programs established by the government and private sectors that help us, single parents, provide a better life for our children. The Food Stamp program is one of these. This program takes care of helping us put food on the table.

The food stamp program is brought to us by the Department of Agriculture. 42.9 million people were fed through this program in December 2010 alone.

The Food Stamp program is also known as SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program. This is where, if we qualify, we will be given food stamps to purchase essential foods. This is provided every month for normal grocery food items.

Before 2004, food stamps came by mail in the form of a “coupon book”. But nowadays, it doesn’t come in paper form anymore. Instead, you will be issued a card that’s like a debit card.

How and where does it work?

Upon completion of all requirements and given that you have qualified, you will be given an electronic benefits transfer card. As I have mentioned, this is like a debit card.

You can use this in your local grocery as a substitute for cash. The amount in your card will be replenished every month.

The good thing about food stamps is that you can use it basically everywhere. Most convenient stores and groceries accept it. Even vendors in farmers markets accept it.

How do I qualify?

First and foremost, to benefit from this program you have to be a US citizen, an immigrant or a refugee. All of these legally obtained of course. All of the people in your household must also have a Social Security Number.

As for financial qualifications, it all depends on the size of your household. If there’s two of you, your monthly net income must not exceed $1226. Monthly net income means the amount that’s left after your taxes and other deductibles have been deducted.

What can and can’t I buy with food stamp?

You can purchase a variety of foods with your food stamp. You can even purchase edible plants with it. And because the government encourages you to grow your own edible garden, you can also purchase seeds for fruits and vegetables with it.

This is really beneficial since having your own edible garden means being sustainable. Once you have your garden, your food stamp money can be used to purchase more food that you couldn’t grow yourself.

What you can’t buy with your food stamp is alcohol beverages, pet food and food that you will be consuming inside the store. You may not be able to purchase inedible household supplies either. This includes toiletries and utensils.

Remember that whatever I have discussed above may not hold true for every state. Visit your state’s website for current qualifications and rules.