Food Supplements (formerly Food Stamps)

What are Food Supplements? 

You and your family may qualify for this benefit, even if you have too much money to qualify for other programs. You are given a card (like a debit card) to use when you buy food. (Some states may still use paper “stamps” or may have a different program name.) Your card is credited with monthly payments. The federal government also calls this SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

What can I buy with Food Supplements?

You can use Food Supplements to buy most food items. Many grocery stores in every part of the country accept this form of payment. More and more local farmers markets also accept the card. You cannot buy alcohol, cigarettes, or non-food items (such as soap, toilet paper, etc).

How do I qualify?

All state programs have income and assets tests. Your local Social Services office can explain whether you qualify for food stamps. You must also follow reporting requirements. So, if you get a new job, for example, you would need to report the change in income. This allows the state agency to know that you are still eligible.

What if I have trouble with the state agency?

If you get a notice saying that your food supplements are denied or reduced, that you have an overpayment, or that you committed fraud, contact your nearest legal services office for help right away.


Last updated May 2018