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Written by Vanessa Wit

 

Food Stamp Program in New York


The food assistance program in the State of New York is called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). SNAP is great program that helps low income families, senior citizens, the disabled and many others with easing their food expenses on a monthly basis.


Food stamps helps millions of people (15% of the US population) put food on the table that would otherwise have extreme trouble doing so. With the benefits that the food stamp program provides, families are able to make healthier food choices because they have more money available to do so.


Need help creating a grocery list to plan out your food choices? Looking for recipe ideas? Grocery Coupon Network is a great online resource.


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Benefits Received from SNAP


Benefits received by utilizing SNAP within the State of New York are used on families that need a little help getting food on their dinner tables. Received in the form of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, the amount of money allocated is determined by the number of individuals within the household, income brought in by these individuals, expenses and resources received. The funds given out monthly can only be used at approved retailers and on approved products.


Surprising Items You Can Buy With Food Stamps


There are definitely some restrictions on purchases with food stamps- such as alcohol, tobacco, magazines, prepared foods, pet food etc. But there are some surprising items allowed for purchase. One would think that the government would encourage low income families on the program to make smart nutritional food choices, but items like red bull, artificial sweetener, soda, alcoholic mixes, and candy are allowed through food stamp funds.


Grocery Coupon Network can help you save money on items not allowed for purchase with your food stamps- like pet food, alcohol and others. We have tons of coupons you can access daily to help spread your monthly income.


Does Your Income Make You Eligible?


The only true way to know if you are eligible is to apply through SNAP. However, there are some guidelines you can go by- for example, for a family of four, if your monthly gross income is at or below $2,522, you could be eligible.


When determining eligibility, the department looks at your gross monthly income before taxes and any withholdings subtracted. Also, they put into consideration any governmental resources received such as unemployment, social security, public assistance and SSI benefits. If you have any resources coming in, in addition to your income, you will need to apply and meet with a SNAP representative so that everything can be properly evaluated.


Important Note About SNAP


Every October 1st, SNAP standards for income necessities is adjusted to meet cost of living changes. Be sure to check in yearly to make sure that the changes made does not affect your benefits.


You could be planning out your monthly budget based on a certain standard, and then the State of New York may make adjustments, messing up your budgets. Using coupons can help alleviate any pain that the changes in your benefits can cause. Buy one get one (BOGO), stacking, and doubling are great ways to save big on your next shopping trip.


If you have any questions about applying or the benefits you are currently receiving, you can contact the Department of Temporary and Disability Services at toll-free 1-800-342-3009. Be sure to press "1" to reach the SNAP department. You can also contact your local Department of Social Services directly.


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Stretch Your Food Stamp Dollars


It is reported that 45 millions people benefit from the nationwide food stamp program. Here are some suggestions for those millions on how to stretch the benefits you receive through SNAP.


  1. Divide your benefits by four, so that you can determine your weekly budget. Many households make the mistake of spending the lot of their funds too early in the month.
  2. Plan out your meals. Try to use ingredients that you already have on hand, eliminating the need to buy more products.
  3. Spread out food and beverages. Drink more water and water down your juices. Buy less meat. Meat is sometimes the most expensive ingredient, know how to stretch the other elements of your meal- rice, noodles, vegetables.
  4. Use coupons. This is the key to stretching your funds. Many users consider food stamps as "free" money and do not treat it as their own cash. Realizing that the food assistance funds can get you farther if paired with coupons, store deals, and product promotion can have dramatic effects on the amount of groceries you can bring home. Be smart, clip coupons, plan ahead, shop during promotions.

 

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