National Nutrition Month: Get Food Help from SNAP
SNAP, which used to be known as food stamps, is a U.S. nutrition program that gives families money each month to help pay for groceries. This money is stored on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which works just like a debit card from your bank. You can use your SNAP money at grocery stores, convenience stores, and even at your local farmer’s markets.
To qualify for benefits, SNAP will look at a few things like the number of people living in your home, your income and assets, and your expenses. They will also see if you’re currently receiving other benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), so they can get a better sense of your finances. Not sure if you qualify for SNAP benefits? Try out Project Bread’s SNAP Calculator.
There are many ways you can apply for SNAP in Massachusetts. You can:
- Complete the online SNAP application,
- Print a paper application and mail it to the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Applications are available in 13 different languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian-Creole, Vietnamese, and Chinese,
- Call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333,
- Visit your local DTA office to apply in person.
After you complete your SNAP application, someone from the Massachusetts DTA will call you to set up a phone interview. At this time they may also ask for copies of some key documents, like your recent pay stubs or your driver’s license (if you have one). DTA will then send you a letter to let you know if you can get food and nutrition help through SNAP.
And one more thing: if you get SNAP benefits, your children may also qualify for free or reduced school lunches. Call your child’s school to ask how to apply for this school lunch program.