Written by Vanessa Wit
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, is what we now called food stamps. This program helps millions of Americans nationwide be able to buy nutritional food to prepare meals for themselves and their families. SNAP is the largest funded platform for helping low income families.
The State of Oregon works with the federal government to provide funds and education to low income families. The program is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service under the US Department of Agriculture. The program was enacted in 1972 when Congress required that all states offer a program to low income families in need of food assistance.
The purpose of SNAP is to help individuals and families that cannot afford to buy the necessary food for their household. SNAP is a supplement, it is not meant to provide all of your food needs. Some good ideas for lower your grocery costs are to use coupons during all of your grocery trips. This can help spread out your SNAP benefits, allowing you to buy more for your household.
It is also important to note that you do not have to be destitute or homeless in order to be eligible for benefits. If you are struggling to put nutritional food on the table, and meet the minimum monthly income standards, you could receive monthly benefits.
In August of 2013, there were around 808,245 Oregonians within 443,501 households that received food benefits through the SNAP program. $235 was the average monthly benefit given to each household.
The SNAP program within Oregon no longer uses stamps. All benefits are provided through an EBT or debit card. The card is known as the "Oregon Trail" card. You will receive funds on this card monthly.
It is important to plan out shopping trips and budget your funds accordingly. If you do not, you could risk spending all benefits before the month is over and be struggling to provide meals at the end of the month. One way to help with this, is by saving more at the grocery store. Coupons allow you to cut your grocery bill sometimes in half!
You can find coupons on the products you love and use often and also local store coupons on the Grocery Coupon Network site. You can search by product category, specific store, and even your zip code. We even show you your local store promotions and circulars so that you know where to shop on a week to week basis to save big.
Also, go to Grocery Coupon Network to learn great couponing methods like stacking, doubling and even bulk purchases. Learn about the best days to shop and when items tend to go on sale. Shop smart by using Grocery Coupon Network as your number one shopping resource.
To find out if you are eligible for benefits you can fill out a SNAP estimator online. This form will ask you how many persons are living in your households, the monthly income brought in by these individuals, their citizenship and much more. It will also determine your eligibility by the amount of savings and assets you own.
The main point is that you need to be making under a certain amount, dependent on the number of people that are living in your house.
There are a few ways to apply:
Online, through an online form.
Download the form on the Oregon state page and turn in to your local DHS Self Sufficiency office. Here is some information:
For any questions about the program or to find out where to send in your form; call the Oregon SafeNet at 800-723-3638.
Remember- the SNAP program is meant to help families. Do not hesitate to call a representative or even apply to see if you are eligible. If you are working hard to put healthy meals on the table for your family but continue to struggle, this program was set up for you.
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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