Written by Sonya Kamell
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) is a food stamp program that provides Rhode Island residents who have little to no income with supplemental benefits to buy healthy food for their families. All over Rhode Island, budget-conscious people are taking charge of their food expenses by applying for this program.
You can use SNAP benefits to buy healthy food for your household to eat. Remember the Food Pyramid? With SNAP, fill your grocery cart with grains (breads/cereals), greens (fruits and veggies), protein (meats, fish, poultry), and dairy (milk, yoghurt, eggs, etc.) The Rhode Island Food Stamp program even encourages people back to nature, because you can also use your SNAP Food benefits to buy seeds and plants which grow into food for your family to eat.
SNAP Benefits do not purchase alcohol or tobacco products; any non-food items; vitamins and medicines; food that will be eaten in the store; and hot foods.
SNAP benefits will buy:
SNAP Benefits will not buy:
SNAP Income Guidelines are based first on if the household gross income is at or below 185% the federal poverty level (FPL). This is raised to 200% FPL when there is a senior and or disabled person in the household. Then the household's net income is calculated. That is the gross income minus allowable deductions, such as household size, taxes (20% of earned income), child/dependent care costs, some of your shelter expenses up to a certain amount, and if there is an elderly or disabled person living in the household.
Here are some standard monthly gross income limits as listed in the SNAP application. Note: these are 2012-2013 numbers, so please double check with the official website.
You can determine if you're eligible for SNAP and medical benefits using this online self-screening tool.
Questions will include:
You can fill out the application for Rhode Island SNAP benefits online, or print the application and fill it out, or pick up a paper copy from the Department of Human Services (DHS) office in your county.
If you choose the paper option, take the copy to the DHS office nearest you in person, or mail or fax it in. Here is the contact information for the DHS offices in Rhode Island:
Once the DHS office reviews your application, they may need to complete a final interview by phone or in person. These are the documents you may need to provide at the interview (also included in the PDF version of the SNAP application:
Citizens of Rhode Island save with double coupons at participating grocery stores. The major chains Stop & Shop and Shaws accept double coupons up to $0.99. McQuade's Marketplace in the Westerly and Jamestown areas, and Jerry's Supermarket in West Warwick also will accept double coupons up to $0.99.
You can combine up to four 'like' manufacturer's coupons at a time. (Double coupons will not work on cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets and other items that state law blocks.)
The coupon circulars for specific stores may indicate additional deals, so check them out at Grocery Coupon Network before shopping to find great deals and cut expenses.
Certain residents of Providence and Cranston can use their SNAP EBT to buy meals at the following Subway restaurants.
To be eligible, you must prove you are elderly, disabled, and/or homeless. This pilot program in Rhode Island provides healthy meals for those without access to a kitchen in which to cook their own food.
You can save more, cut costs and still eat well and be healthy! Please take advantage of coupons available to you at Grocery Coupon Network and the Rhode Island Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP).
If you have any questions, the SNAP Application Assistance staff are available to help you at (866) 306-0270. For more tips on inexpensive, healthy recipes and how to make that dollar stretch, call the SNAP-Ed Nutrition Hotline at (877) 366-3874. Here's to a healthy America!
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