SNAP/Food Stamps- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides low-income households with a monthly Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that can be used, like a debit card, to buy food at most grocery stores and other food retailers.
SNAP is the largest federal nutrition program operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by state agencies. In D.C. SNAP is administered by the Department of Human Servicesí Economic Security Administration (ESA). In Fiscal Year 2011, over 135,000 D.C. residents benefited from the SNAP program. Follow this link to see overall up-to-date SNAP participation data for the District and every state in the nation. In addition to helping families and individuals put healthy food on the table, USDA research shows every $1 of SNAP/Food Stamps spent in the community generates $1.79 in local economic activity.
D.C. Hunger Solutions partners with ESA to provide information, outreach, training to community partners, and application assistance to help connect more eligible residents to SNAP/Food Stamps. If you want to apply for SNAP, follow the links to the right for more information on eligibility and how to apply. If you are a community-based agency interested in SNAP outreach materials or training for your staff, visit our resource page or contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What's happening with SNAP/Food Stamps in D.C.?
Food Stamp Challenge Concludes with DC Council Resolution Opposing SNAP Cuts and Advocacy on the Hill (October 16, 2012)
D.C. Hunger Solutions joins with AARP DC Volunteers, the Greater Washington Urban League, and AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly to Fight Senior Hunger
D.C. Hunger Solutions Congratulates D.C. Department of Human Services on SNAP/Food Stamp Program Bonus Award
The D.C. Department of Human Services Income Maintenance Administration received bonus awards for both timeliness in processing SNAP applications and overall program access in fiscal year 2010. D.C.'s awards, totaling over $1.1 million, were given out by USDA to recognize outstanding and timely customer service among state agencies administering the SNAP/Food Stamp Program. The District was one of 11 states selected to receive this recognition. More...
D.C. Council Passes the SNAP Expansion Act of 2010
Building on the success of the SNAP Expansion Act of 2009, Councilmembers Michael Brown and Mary Cheh led the Council's efforts to introduce and pass a second SNAP/Food Stamp act containing two key provisions:
- Transitional Benefits for TANF Leavers: Families leaving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will receive an automatic five-month increase in food stamp benefits ("transitional benefits") to help ease their transition to work. This option could bring an additional $12 million a year in federal funding into the District.
- Standardized Self-Employment Deduction. For self-employed residents applying for SNAP/Food Stamps, the process of identifying and thereby deducting all the costs of doing business to determine net income is often prohibitively burdensome. A standardized self-employment deduction will simplify the process by establishing a set deduction, encouraging participation and boosting benefit levels among the self-employed.
Read more about the act on Councilmember Chehís website.
D.C. Implements the SNAP Expansion Act of 2009
In August 2009, the D.C. Council adopted the SNAP Expansion Act of 2009 (pdf), which includes two policy improvements aimed at expanding eligibility among low-income residents and raising benefits for current recipients.
- A new categorical eligibility policy raised the gross income limit for targeted families in need in the District from 130 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent and also removed the asset cap.
- By coordinating information between the District's energy assistance program and the food stamp agency, D.C. triggers larger deductions from gross income for heating and cooling costs in food stamp benefit calculations, thereby raising select households' benefits by an average of $30 to $60 per month and bringing an additional estimated $15 million into the city each year.