The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) serves as a front-line defense against hunger, helping families make ends meet. It is the largest nutrition assistance program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The goal of the program is “to alleviate hunger and malnutrition… by increasing food purchasing power for all eligible households who apply for participation.” Research shows that participating in SNAP plays a critical role not only in alleviating food insecurity, but also in improving dietary intake and health.
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You may qualify if your income and other resources are under certain limits. New changes to the food stamp program have increased the maximum income limits, have allowed a higher utility deduction, and have eliminated some assets from the calculation. You can have a car, a house, and/or some savings and still be eligible.
You must have at least five years of residency to qualify for food stamps. If you are undocumented and have children who are United States citizens, you can apply for food stamps on their behalf.
HOW DO I APPLY?
- Visit one of the outreach sites in your area (SNAP Outreach dates on the calendar).
- Speak with a FoodBank SNAP Outreach Coordinator at 1-800-609-3663.
You will need the following documents to apply:
- Identification (for everyone in the household)
- Social Security Numbers (for everyone in the household)
- Utility Bills (gas, electric, oil, water and telephone)
- Rent Receipt/Agreement or Mortgage Statements and/or Tax Bill
- Proof of Income (for everyone in the household)
- Medical Expense (ONLY if you are 60 and older and/or disabled)
- Child Day Care Expenses
HOW WILL I RECEIVE BENEFITS?
Once approved, each household will receive an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT), which looks like a debit card. Your approved benefit allowance will be put on your EBT every month.
The tough economic times and high household bills are making it very difficult for many New Jerseyans to put healthy food on their tables. The SNAP Outreach Program’s primary goal is to empower individuals who deserve food stamp benefits to apply for them.
Our outreach team visits emergency food pantries, senior centers, soup kitchens, churches and other community sites serving low-income families to offer a free pre-screening for SNAP eligibility. Those likely to be eligible for food stamp benefits will also receive assistance filling out the online application. Our outreach team also helps prepare eligible individuals for the interview process at the County Board of Social Services.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP?
Visit one of our sites. View our current SNAP Outreach dates on the calendar. Call the SNAP Outreach Program to speak with one of our coordinators at 1-800-609-3663 or email us at email@example.com.
HOW CAN I SCHEDULE A SNAP HOST SITE VISIT?
Becoming a host site is easy. We can evaluate your location to see if it meets our basic requirements. We need you to provide table space and promote our visit. We will bring our own laptops, information and experience. Call 1-800-609-3663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?
We need volunteers to assist our outreach team. Volunteers help our coordinators by preparing the clients while they wait. At times, they also help with the application process. The sites are located in Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Passaic, Bergen, Middlesex and Somerset counties. The visits can be during the day, in the evening or on weekends. Volunteers can choose a time and place that is convenient. In addition, we train volunteers so they are able to provide quality assistance and make the most of their volunteer time. To find out more or attend a training session, please call 1-800-609-3663 or email email@example.com.
Although more than 850,000 New Jersey residents receive SNAP benefits, only about 60 percent of those eligible actually participate in the program. Distributing SNAP information is one way to connect people with nutrition assistance.