How to Get on Food Stamps/SNAP/EBT

i know there’s a lot of tumblr users who are struggling to feed themselves/their families so I’ve put together a resource post to help people apply for SNAP. 

What is SNAP?

  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) used to be called food stamps. It’s a USA federal program that gives money to help poor people pay for monthly food needs. It’s a federal program, meaning it’s available everywhere in the US, but it’s handled by individual state governments. EBT, SNAP, and food stamps all refer to the same thing. 

How Does SNAP Work?

  • It’s very simply. You apply online and, if eligible, you then have a phone interview where you just confirm all the info you already told them, and you usually have to show them proof of income (like pay stubs). 
  • Once accepted, you get an EBT card (it looks like a credit card) and at the beginning of every month a set amount of money is added to you account. The amount you get depends on things like income, family size, etc. 
  • You can then buy groceries anywhere that accepts EBT, pretty much every large supermarket and many smaller ones as well. EBT can only be used for “cold food”, so nothing from the hot deli section. 
  • EBT money stays in your account forever, so if you don’t spend everything this month you can use it next month. 

Who is Eligible for SNAP?

  • Eligibility is determined by considering you income, your savings, and expenses (rent, utilities). You check your eligibility here (all states) and get more info on eligibility here. The application is quick and simple. 
  • They way they calculate it is kinda confusing but you’re generally eligible if you make less than ~$1,500/month and I’d say it’s worth it to apply if you make less than ~$2,000/month (these are for single adults). 
  • You can get EBT even if you aren’t a citizen!!! 

How Do I Apply?

  • A master list of online applications for all states can be found here.

I hope this covers the basics. If there’s info that would be helpful but isn’t on here please let me know. Honestly apply even if you don’t think you’re eligible it’s very worth it. 

Please reblog!

Next Time You Judge Someone on Food Stamps, Remember This…

Recently, a few courageous lawmakers took the food stamp challenge, living off SNAP in an attempt to show that hunger is more than just a statistic. As U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who took the challenge, wrote: “All spontaneity is out the window. Feel like buying a cup of coffee? Forget it. Those pretzels in the vending machine look tempting? Keep walking. They’re not in the budget.”  Governor Ted Strickland said “For the week [I took the challenge], I walked as much as I possibly could to avoid paying for transportation, skipped meals to save money — and I ate much smaller and less healthful meals when I did eat.”   

I didn’t need to take the challenge, I lived it. And I learned a lot from it but mainly that I should never feel ashamed for reaching out for help. I also learned that I had my own stereotype of what being poor should look like. When I had to go to the SNAP office, I admit I was expecting to see the depths of poverty exemplified. Instead, I saw people from all walks of life: young and old, clean and dirty, black and white. I am Ivy League educated, worked for years, had decent savings, and wore nice clothes before times got hard and I lost my job. Besides being a black woman, on paper I didn’t look like my idea of a typical SNAP recipient. Anyone could easily slip into poverty.  

Read on:


Imagine making it so that banks can collect extra fees from mothers with small children who are trying to feed them on less than four hundred dollars a month. How cruel do you have to be to think that making them only carry 20 dollars cash will somehow teach them a lesson? But this is what’s happening in states governed by miserly Republicans who are determined to wring every last dime out of people who have nothing and give it to people who have more than they can spend in a lifetime. In Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, for instance, they are making long lists of prohibited foods for those who use SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs.) The list of other prohibited purchases includes “herbs, spices, or seasonings,” all nuts, red and yellow potatoes, smoothies, spaghetti sauce, “soups, salsas, ketchup,” sauerkraut, pickles, dried beans sold in bulk, and white or albacore tuna.

The party of the rich is now doing everything in its power to make sure those without money live in misery

gary johnson facts

a list of things gary johnson opposes:

  • minimum wage laws
  • federal funding for social security
  • being allowed to start claiming social security retirement benefits before you’re 75 (currently you can start claiming retirement benefits when you’re 62)
  • the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps)
  • federal disability aid/SSI/SSDI
  • federal funding for medicare
  • federal funding for medicaid
  • the affordable care act
  • government funding for social programs
  • federal nondiscrimination laws
  • federal hate crimes legislation
  • federal equal-pay-for-women laws
  • corporations paying taxes
  • federal funding for public tranportation
  • the department of education existing
  • federal student loans (e.g. he wants people to only take out private loans)
  • government intervention to lessen global warming

if any of the above things are important to you, you should not vote for gary johnson. bc if the above things are important to you, you’re not a Libertarian like he is.


don’t let his anti-war, pro-weed, pro-choice stances make you assume he agrees with the majority of other positions considered liberal.


Gene Alday, a Republican member of the Mississippi state legislature, apologized last week for telling a reporter that all the African-Americans in his hometown of Walls, Mississippi, are unemployed and on food stamps.

“I come from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks,’” Alday said to a reporter for The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, earlier this month. “They don’t work.”

Nationally, most of the people who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are white. According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American.

Get the full story here.

What’s the impact of your federal tax dollars?

Rather than calculating a hypothetical amount that a single person could receive by enrolling in every benefits program (like the Cato Institute report did), this infographic shows how many people are lifted above the federal poverty line by various federal programs.

The distribution of households living at various levels of poverty has been extensively studied. Similarly, the distribution of households receiving food stamps (enrolled in SNAP) is also well known. Not surprisingly, these populations have considerable overlap; eligibility for SNAP is based largely on income, and therefore, correlates strongly with poverty level. But there are scenarios where a household may live below the poverty line and opt not to apply (or not qualify) for food stamps. Conversely, there are situations where household income raises a family above the 100% poverty level, but due to non-financial factors (e.g., disability, employment status), the household can still receive food stamps.

In the top two maps, I show the raw county data: percentage of households living below the poverty line and percentage of households receiving food stamps. Using subsets of data provided by the Census, I was able to calculate the overlap between the groups – those households that are both below the poverty line and enrolled in SNAP – and mapped the values as percentages of each respective group. The result (bottom two maps) provides the percentage of households below the poverty line that receive food stamps (left), and the percentage of households enrolled in SNAP that are below the poverty line (right).

The top maps show that it is more common for a household to be living below the poverty line than to receive food stamps; this is not surprising, as it is much easier for a household that is below the poverty line not to apply for SNAP than for a family above the poverty line to qualify for SNAP. So, in general, a household is more likely to be below the poverty line than to get food stamps, making the top left map darker than the top right map. Despite these differences, the variables are still well correlated (r^2 = 0.67).

The two calculated percentages, however, have only a weak correlation (r^2 = 0.17). This is where the data show some interesting results. If the trend described in the previous paragraph held true, the bottom right map should typically be darker than the bottom left map; because there are fewer households receiving food stamps than living below the poverty line, there should be a higher percentage of households enrolled in SNAP who are below the poverty line than the percentage of households below the poverty line who are enrolled in SNAP.

As a consequence, any regions where the bottom left map is darker than the bottom right map indicates a region that contradicts the norm. States such as Oregon, Michigan, and Maine, represent regions where a household is more likely to be enrolled in SNAP than living below the poverty line. This suggests that these states have unusually high percentages of households above the poverty line who are receiving food stamps.

Data source: (Table S2201)
Congresswoman Asks Why Drug Tests Are Only Being Considered For Food Stamp Recipients, Not Farmers
“If we're going to look at drug testing for SNAP, we should take the entire Department of Agriculture and all those programs that provide federal subsidy to folks, and they ought to be drug tested as well."

Under current law, states aren’t allowed to require drug screening and testing for low-income people to enroll in the food stamps program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). That’s something Wisconsin, which is fighting the issue in court, and Rep. Robert Aderholt(R-AL), who chairs the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee that administers SNAP, want to change. Aderholt has has unveiled a measure that would pave the way for states that want to add a drug testing requirement.

What does poverty look like to you?

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Many Americans are still struggling to keep food on the table after the Great Recession. Right now, 1 in 7 Americans are “food insecure” and approximately 47.4 million are surviving on food stamps, referred to as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That means there’s a strong chance you may know someone living on SNAP or close to needing food assistance. Are your friends wearing dirty clothes, begging for scraps on the street? I am going to make the assumption they are not. There’s still a heavy stigma attached to the poor and what being in need is supposed to look like. We live in a society that shames poverty and implies that you brought it upon yourself. The Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, recently typified this notion, saying: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.” One of the world’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, put it more bluntly in a magazine column: “If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socializing, and more time working.”

But one does not simply come out of poverty so easily. According to the Economic Policy Institute, half the jobs in the nation pay under than $34,000 a year. There are many contributing factors that can cause people to be poor. Problems start early with bad nutrition, inequitable public schools, lack of mentors, etc. Regardless of any individual circumstance, no one should feel bad for reaching out for help when in need.

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Recently, a few courageous lawmakers took the food stamp challenge, living off SNAP in an attempt to show that hunger is more than just a statistic. As U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who took the challenge, wrote: “All spontaneity is out the window. Feel like buying a cup of coffee? Forget it. Those pretzels in the vending machine look tempting? Keep walking. They’re not in the budget."  Governor Ted Strickland said "For the week [I took the challenge], I walked as much as I possibly could to avoid paying for transportation, skipped meals to save money — and I ate much smaller and less healthful meals when I did eat."  

I didn’t need to take the challenge, I lived it. And I learned a lot from it but mainly that I should never feel ashamed for reaching out for help. I also learned that I had my own stereotype of what being poor should look like. When I had to go to the SNAP office, I admit I was expecting to see the depths of poverty exemplified. Instead, I saw people from all walks of life: young and old, clean and dirty, black and white. I am Ivy League educated, worked for years, had decent savings, and wore nice clothes before times got hard and I lost my job. Besides being a black woman, on paper I didn’t look like my idea of a typical SNAP recipient. Anyone could easily slip into poverty. 

Why do we think so poorly of the poor? 

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Let’s officially kill the stereotype of what a SNAP recipient should look like: the black welfare queens, the lifetime dependents, the drug users, etc. You should not feel alone in your own bias towards the poor. Congress still has the stereotyped image of the fraudulent food stamper engrained in their minds as well. Ignore the fact that 83% who receive SNAP benefits are children, elderly, and people with disabilities. Or that there has been a decline in the number of people enrolled in SNAP. Congress still cut back SNAP benefits last year. Some members even suggested drug testing for recipients. 

A major food gap between the rich and the poor exists in our country. Though SNAP helps reduce hunger, by no means does it eliminate it and it certainly doesn’t encourage the purchase of nutritious food. 

I would be naive to assume that no one tries to game the system. But that number is estimated to be negligable: 3.4%. Plus it is very difficult to detect fraud in SNAP benefits in the first place. The mistrust of the poor and assumption that most take advantage of the system is detrimental to progress in reforming the system that supports them. As Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickeled and Dimed, wisely put it: "Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money."  We live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world; it’s a shame that we still struggle with how we treat people in need.


Weigh in with your opinion here

Seven Limes Was Probably Overkill, And Other Lessons From Gwyneth’s Failed Food Stamp Challenge

What went wrong with Gwyneth Paltrow’s SNAP challenge?

The SNAP challenge — as in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a.k.a., food stamps — asks participants to get by on a food budget of $29 for the week, or $4.50 a day. In a kind of inverse of the miracle of Chanukah, what was supposed to last for seven days only survived for four. As she wrote on GOOP, Paltrow broke down for some chicken, fresh vegetables, and half a bag of black licorice.

A Day In The Life Of A Welfare Recipient, According To GOP Legislation

How do people who benefit from the government’s safety net programs spend their money? If you based your understanding on some of the recent Republican proposals to reform those programs, you might think being on public assistance is a righteous party.

However onerous the reality of being on welfare may be, Republicans in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures around the country seem bent on portraying welfare recipients as having a lavish and leisurely lifestyle on the government’s dime.

Here is what a welfare recipient’s day looks like through the lens of recent Republican proposals to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the program most commonly described as “welfare.”

Continue reading.
End Poverty? Reduce Inequality? What Republicans Must Do First

Stop smooching the behind of every predatory billionaire who shows up with an open checkbook and a loud opinion, from the Koch brothers and Paul Singer to Jerry Jones and Sheldon Adelson.

Stop pretending that the best way to reduce inequality—or poverty—is to lavish more trillions of tax breaks on those very same billionaires, as the infamously plutocratic Ryan budget would. Do they really think every blustering donor at the very top of the income scale needs another million dollars? Stop defending capital gains loopholes, offshore accounts and all the other scams that rig the game for the likes of Romney.

Stop snatching bread from the mouths of small children and their mothers, with gratuitous cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance and WIC programs, as if that would appreciably reduce the federal deficit—or be worth the moral cost even if it did. The Ryan budget proposes to reduce food stamps by 20 percent or more, which would mean either terminating benefits for millions or reducing benefits below their already meager level. (It would be interesting to see how the Wisconsin Republican and bodybuilder got by on $1.40 per meal.)

Stop ripping up unemployment checks for families whose lack of remunerative work Republicans have blamed on Barack Obama. Unemployment insurance kept at least 2.5 million Americans, including hundreds of thousands of kids, above the poverty line in recent years. If joblessness truly isn’t the workers’ fault, why decimate them and their children?

Stop rejecting Medicaid, the literal lifeline for poor Americans who have no other health coverage. And stop “repealing” the Affordable Care Act, whose actual repeal would cruelly end coverage for tens of millions of Americans—and in some cases, end their lives.

Stop undermining Medicare and Social Security, the two most successful anti-poverty programs in the nation’s history, which have vastly reduced the impoverishment and early mortality of elderly Americans. And stop telling voters that the endless attempts to cut, privatize, block grant, and otherwise diminish those programs is how you intend to “save” them.

Stop legislating cutbacks in Pell Grants, federal student loans, and other assistance to young people from modest backgrounds—whose educational advancement lifts them toward greater financial security and independence. Anyone who honestly cares about reducing inequality supports aid for higher education.

And please stop mouthing so much meaningless, self-flattering rhetoric on this vital issue—as Romney did when he assured the Republican National Committee that “Republican principles” will “break the cycle of poverty.”

Sorry, but that hasn’t been true under any Republican administration for the past hundred years. Instead of blustering, Republicans should consider the unpleasant but undeniable fact that unemployment and poverty have increased every time a president of their party occupied the White House.

In 37 states, error rates fell between fiscal year 2008 (the recession officially began in December 2007) through fiscal year 2013, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

During the downturn, many Republican lawmakers argued that billions could be saved by cutting waste, fraud and abuse in the program. A GOP-backed bill in Congress last year promised $30 billion in such savings, but the declining error rates cast doubt on that claim.

“The fact is that there are so many different levels on which the program is performing very strongly right now,” said Dottie Rosenbaum of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “It’s performing the way it was designed to.”


The “food stamp fraud epidemic” is  lie entitled rich people made up to excuse their attempts to starve poor people.

Oh SNAP: Compromise on farm bill reached, complete with food stamp cuts
  • $8B the amount that a compromise farm bill would cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program over a decade-long period, according to a preliminary estimate given to NBC News. That sounds bad and is a roughly 1 percent cut, but it could have been a lot worse—the GOP originally wanted to cut $20 billion from the food stamps program. source
New Mexico Officials Accused Of Tampering With Documents To Deny Citizens Emergency Food Stamps
Rather than fix the problem of backlogged applications, agency employees say they were forced to forge data.

Kimberly Jones knows just how hard it is to wait for emergency food stamps to come through. New Mexico is supposed to grant people in dire financial situations expedited benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) within seven days, rather than the 30 it takes to process regular applications. But it often doesn’t work out that way.
Another State May Take Over Maine's Food Stamp Program Because Hunger Is Skyrocketing Under Paul LePage
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The federal government has warned that Maine could face sanctions after breaking federal and state laws by mismanaging its food stamp program under Gov. Paul LePage ®. And experts suggest that the only way to make sure people don’t go hungry is for another state to take over administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program.

David Farmer of the Bangor Daily News reported on Monday that U.S. Department of Agriculture put Maine’s Department of Health and Human Service on notice as the number of residents with food insecurity has been quickly trending up since LePage took over as governor.

According to Farmer, Maine’s state agencies went from ranking 36 out of 53 states to dead last under LePage. And food insecurity in Maine has been increasing at a time when it’s decreasing nationwide. Only Arkansas and Missouri have higher rates of people with very low food security.

“If the department’s goal is to make more people hungry, the strategy is working,” Farmer wrote. “Under LePage and Mayhew, more people are hungry and the department isn’t doing its job.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture asserts that the state’s “chronically poor performance in timeliness is in direct conflict with the application processing statutory and regulatory provisions meant to protect low-income household’s right to receive nutrition assistance benefits in a timely manner.”

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Great News! Michigan has more food stamp recipients than students

When you have more people receiving food stamps than learning basic skills about how to succeed in life, there might be a problem.

From Breitbart:

Michigan now has more food stamp recipients than it does public school students, an analysis of federal and state statistics by Breitbart News reveals.

Michigan, which announced on Friday plans to begin drug testing some welfare recipients, currently has 1,679,421 individuals on food stamps (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. According to the Michigan Department of Education, the state’s total pupil count for K-12 is 1,564,114.

Read the Rest

Is it any wonder why Detroit is $18 billion in debt?
Hunger as an Instrument of Social Control

This month will see more than half a million adults lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Lower jobless numbers have prompted the federal government to discontinue waivers that states need in order to extend this aid to long-term unemployed. In Pennsylvania and Arizona, for example, childless, able-bodied people aged 18 to 49 will now get a mere three months’ assistance. In Alabama and elsewhere in the South, hard-luck cases may expect three weeks’ help every three years. After that, nothing. The idea is, apparently, that if you can’t lock down one of the part-time, low-wage jobs the current economic “recovery” has created, you’d do well simply to starve.