Written by Maria Jackson
In Iowa, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Benefits (or SNAP) are known as the "Food Assistance Program." The Food Assistance Program is administered through the Iowa Department of Human Services and these benefits are provided to help struggling, low-income Iowa families get healthy and nutritious foods, like fruit and vegetables, which might otherwise be too expensive.
You can apply for food stamp benefits in Iowa through an online application or in-person at your local Human Services Office.
Once you apply, you will have an interview with a Human Services employee to determine your eligibility. You will find out within 30 days from your application date if you are eligible, unless you have certain circumstances, such as a more urgent need, that qualify you for expedited application processing.
You can find your local Iowa Department of Human Services Office by searching for your county or city. Just select your county, such as Dubuque County or Des Moines County, or your city, such as Iowa City or Davenport, and you will be provided with location and other general information for your local office.
Your eligibility for food stamp assistance will depend on what your monthly income is and the size of your household. When you are calculating your income, you may be able to deduct certain eligible expenses, but the current gross monthly income guidelines are as follows:
You might also be eligible without having to meet the monthly income limits if you or someone in your household is aged 60 or older or is disabled or if your household income is not more than 160% of the federal poverty level.
You will receive your monthly food stamp benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that you can use anywhere EBT cards are accepted. The EBT card works like a debit card and you use it to make your eligible food purchases.
If you are a woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding or has had a baby in the last 6 months, or you have an infant or child under the age of 5, you may qualify for The Women, Infants, And Children (WIC) program. You must also be an Iowa resident, and meet other income and need guidelines. This program helps provide food assistance to women and children along with nutrition education and other information.
Because Iowa is a state that thrives on farming, you may also be able to get fresh fruits, vegetables and other food that are locally grown at certain farmers markets in Iowa through the Food Assistance Program using your EBT card at wireless machines set up at the markets. This is called the Iowa Department of Human Services' Wireless EBT Project
Healthy, fresh food can be very expensive. You want to make sure you're doing the best for yourself and your family. The Iowa Food Assistance Project can help you go a long way in putting food on the table. But did you know you can save even more by combining grocery coupons with your food stamp benefits?
Grocery Coupon Network has thousands of coupons to choose from. They are easy to find and print at home. They even have coupons specific to your favorite local Iowa stores and national chains, like Dollar General.
Make sure you're getting the most out of your hard-earned dollars and take advantage of these valuable resources.
You probably have enough to worry about right now, so remember, couponing doesn't have to be hard work. You can have fun with couponing through Grocery Coupon Network and get involved in their contests and giveaways to win big prizes.
Video: How to Use a Coupon Organizer to Save TimeUse a Coupon Organizer to make couponing easier. Step up from envelopes and get serious about organizing to save time and headaches.
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