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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Background

SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. SNAP provides nutritional support for low-income seniors, people with disabilities living on fixed incomes, and other individuals and families with low incomes. SNAP is a federal program administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency (ESS). ESS is responsible for determining eligibility for SNAP using federal guidelines.

Eligibility

SNAP eligibility rules and benefit levels are, for the most part, set at the federal level and uniform across the nation, though states have flexibility to tailor aspects of the program. Individuals must pass all eligibility rules to receive food assistance benefits. Find out more about eligibility rules.

Ineligibility

Ineligibility: Individuals are ineligible for SNAP if they:

  • are convicted of drug trafficking,
  • are running away from a felony warrant,
  • purposely break Food Assistance Program rules,
  • are noncitizens without a qualified status, or
  • are a student who attends an institution of higher education at least half time, in some circumstances.

SNAP Benefits

Households can use food assistance benefits to buy breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Households cannot use food assistance benefits to buy nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vitamins, medicines, food to eat in the store, or hot foods.

The Electronic Benefits Transfer Card

Once approved for SNAP and/or TANF benefits, your re-loadable EBT card will be mailed to your mailing address on file. For more information, go to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card.

SUNCAP

The SUNCAP Program is a special Food Assistance Program for individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You may be eligible to receive food assistance benefits through the SUNCAP Program without any additional application, paperwork, or interviews. If you already receive food assistance benefits in the regular Food Assistance Program, you may be automatically put in the SUNCAP Program when you become SSI eligible. If your food assistance benefits will go down because of SUNCAP, you may choose to continue receiving your food assistance benefits under the regular Food Assistance Program.