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About SNAP
Mother with her young son at a farmers market buying snap peas

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, serves as the foundation of the nation’s nutrition safety net.

SNAP is federally funded, with states splitting the cost of administering the program. SNAP supplements the food budgets of low-income families and individuals by providing them with a monthly benefit on electronic debit cards which can be used at most grocery stores, some farmers’ markets and other food retail outlets.

Independent evaluations have shown that participation in SNAP reduces hunger, improves health, lifts families out of poverty and stimulates the economy. USDA research indicates that every $5 in new food stamp benefits generates $9 of economic activity in local communities.

At the federal level, SNAP is administered through the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In state government, the agency responsible for administering the program is often located within the state department of human services. 

Eligibility for SNAP is based upon household income and resources. A household is considered a person or group of people who are living together and who purchase and prepare food together. For most households, except for those with an elderly or disabled member, gross income cannot exceed 130 percent of the poverty level. All households must show that their monthly net income does not exceed 100 percent of the poverty level.

To learn more about the SNAP eligibility requirements, visit the USDA SNAP Eligibility page.