Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Accept SNAP Benefits at Your Store

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps) offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. FNS also works with State partners and the retail community to improve program administration and ensure program integrity.

Apply online to accept SNAP benefits at your store or Farmers’ Market. It’s fast and secure. You can complete the online application in as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy. By applying online, you can also check the real-time status of your application online using your USDA account. Applying to accept SNAP benefits at your store or Farmers’ Market is a three step process: get a USDA account, fill out an application online, and mail your supporting documentation to complete your file.

To be eligible as a store in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), your store(s) must sell food for home preparation and consumption and meet one of the criteria below:

(A) Offer for sale, on a continuous basis, at least three varieties of qualifying foods in each of the following four staple food groups, with perishable foods in at least two of the categories:

meat, poultry or fish
bread or cereal
vegetables or fruits
dairy products

(B) More than one-half (50%) of the total dollar amount of all retail sales (food, nonfood, gas and services) sold in the store must be from the sale of eligible staple foods.

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
Any nonfood items, such as:
pet foods
soaps, paper products
household supplies
Vitamins and medicines
Food that will be eaten in the store
Hot foods

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