Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), once known as the Food Stamps Program, helps over 34 million people put healthy food on their tables every month. SNAP benefits can help families and individuals make ends meet by reducing monthly expenses for those most in need. SNAP is structured so that those with high housing costs relative to their income receive extra help. SNAP benefits allow families and individuals to spend more of their discretionary spending on housing and can help prevent homelessness and help those experiencing homelessness get back on their feet and into stable housing.
For more information about the common misperceptions concerning homelessness and SNAP, read: Ten Myths and Facts about SNAP for Homeless Persons.
Most people experiencing homelessness in America are eligible to receive SNAP benefits though many do not. Finding ways to improve access to mainstream benefits for people experiencing homelessness is critical to the goal of ending homelessness. Eligibility and benefit amount are determined by your local SNAP office and are based on income. If people qualify, they will receive benefits within 30 days of application. However, if a family has little or no money, they may be able to receive benefits sooner with the help of a caseworker at their local SNAP office. To locate your local office and apply for SNAP benefits, go to USDA’s National SNAP office locator tool.