Thursday, October 30, 2014

Available Food Assistance Programs

***If you live in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you can contact PathWays PA at 610-543-5022 to see if you qualify.***

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)

What is it?
SNAP is a federal benefit program that puts food on the tables of low-income households. SNAP recipients in Pennsylvania use an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, also known as ACCESS. This card works like a debit card and can be used at grocery stores, supermarkets and some farmers markets. SNAP benefits buy food items or seeds and plants to grow your own food.

Do I qualify?
The SNAP program will look at all kinds of factors to determine your eligibility, like whether you have an elderly or disabled person living in your household, your savings account, medical bills, etc. Eligibility is also based on monthly income and expenses.

Households where all members receive or are authorized to receive Cash Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Family Works (FW) are considered categorically eligible for SNAP, which means they do not have to meet resource or income limits.

Because eligibility varies depending on your circumstances, even if you earn more than the eligibility range below, you may still qualify. The best way to determine if your household will qualify for SNAP is to apply.

SNAP Income Guidelines
Household Size
Maximum Gross Monthly Income (2014)
Maximum Gross Monthly Income for Families with Elderly/Disabled Members (2014)
1
$1,557
$1,946
2
$2,098
$2,622
3
$2,640
$3,300
4
$3,181
$3,976
5
$3,722
$4,652
6
$4,264
$5,330
7
$4,805
$6,006
8
$5,346
$6,682
each additional member
+$542
+$678


How do I apply?
You can apply at www.compass.state.pa or in-person at your local County Assistance Office.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

What is it?
WIC is a federally funded program that provides healthy supplemental food and nutrition services for pregnant and postpartum women, as well as infants and children under age five.

Do I qualify?
All pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to age five can be eligible. Income eligibility standards must be met for new participants and for recertifying current participants. Participants must also have medical or nutritional risk, which will be determined at the certification appointment. Participants must reside in Pennsylvania. WIC does not require proof of citizenship or alien status.

WIC Income Guidelines
Household Size
(include unborn children)
Monthly Approximate Income (2014)
Annual Income (2014)
1
$1,799
$21,590
2
$2,425
$29,101
3
$3,050
$36,612
4
$3,676
$44,123
5
$4,302
$51,634
6
$4,928
$59,145
7
$5,554
$66,656
8
$6,180
$74,167
each additional member
+$626
+$7,511


How do I apply?
Find your local WIC office at http://www.pawic.com/91/Local+Agency+List.html.

National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs

What is it?
The National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs provide free or low-cost nutritious meals to school children in an effort to encourage learning in school. Children can receive these meals in school until age 18. Free Summer Food Programs are also available.

Do I qualify?

National School Breakfast and Lunch Program
Household Size
Monthly Income for
Free Meals
(Through June 30, 2015)
Monthly Income for
Reduced Price Meals 
(Through June 30, 2015)
1
$973
$1,800
2
$1,311
$2,426
3
$1,650
$3,051
4
$1,988
$3,677
5
$2,326
$4,303
6
$2,665
$4,929
7
$3,003
$5,555
8
$3,341
$6,181
each additional member
+$339
+$626


How do I apply?
You can apply at www.compass.state.pa or in-person at your local County Assistance Office. You can also ask your school for an application and information.

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