The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is the largest established hunger help in the United States. In fact, after unemployment benefits, it is the most responsive federal program. It provides additional help primarily during or after economic downturns.
The purpose of the SNAP program is to provide financial assistance to those in need so that they can purchase food. The mechanics of the program are simple. Beneficiaries receive a series of monthly vouchers to enable them to purchase food at selected stores.
The recipients of this help are mainly working families whose income is insufficient to live on. Another sector that benefits from this help is people with disabilities who, likewise, live on limited incomes. It should be noted that almost two-thirds of SNAP participants are families with children and about one-third of households have seniors or people with a disability.
Products you can purchase with SNAP
Regardless of the amount each recipient receives, SNAP money is deposited directly onto an electronic benefit transfer card. This is known as EBT. Considering the purpose of this help, there is a list of the only products you can purchase with it.
The list is composed of basic products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as canned, dehydrated or frozen, and dried fruits and nuts. Also red or white meat, fish and eggs. Other staples such as dairy products, bread, cereals, rice, beans and pasta. Basic ingredients for cooking such as salt or spices. Foods intended for more specific sectors such as baby formula or diabetic foods. Of course, water is also included.
They also include more complementary products such as soft drinks, ice cream, cookies, crackers, cereal bars, compotes, pretzels, gelatin, sugar, honey and other sweeteners. Also, vegetable oils, sauces, such as mayonnaise or ketchup, and cooking extracts, such as vanilla essence, cooking wine, yeast or baking powder, and birthday cakes. However, the value of the non-edible decoration may not exceed 50 percent of the total price.
Products you cannot purchase under the SNAP program
On the other hand, there are also products that you cannot purchase under the SNAP program. It is important to remember that the program is intended for vulnerable individuals and families. That is, households where the income they receive is low and therefore, it is difficult to maintain a standard of living in which, among other things, they can eat well. For this reason, this program focuses primarily on food.
For this reason, there are products that, although important ones, do not fall within the scope of what can be acquired with this help. This quota includes medicines, vitamins, food supplements, cleaning supplies, or personal care products such as tampons, moisturizing creams, shampoo and the like.
Also they do not include products and services that are not necessary, such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, payments for meals in restaurants or prepared foods. Cosmetics, makeup, toys and office supplies are not included in this quota. Finally, live animals, with the exception of fish or seafood, cannot be purchased with this card.