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Food Stamps

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The Food Stamp Program is a program provided by the Government to provide food for those people who have low income. It has been in effect since 1939. They used to be given out as stamps in a booklet to buy food with. Back then they looked like money but were only to be used for food. Now they are given out as a debit card with a PIN.

What Can and Cannot be Bought with Food Stamps

You can use food stamps to buy food and plants and seeds to grow your own food. They can be used at grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers markets, soup kitchens and meal serving shelters. However, you cannot use them to buy alcohol, cigarettes, dog food, household items, clothing, medicines, vitamins, hot lunches or dinners and foods you can eat in the store. The homeless, elderly and the disabled can be allowed to buy meals at restaurants with food stamps as long as the restaurant is authorized to allow it. Also, food stamps are not allowed to be exchanged for cash and food bought with them cannot be taxed.

Who is Eligible for Food Stamps?

Those who are low income are already eligible for food stamps. Some people who may not be eligible for other help may be eligible for food stamps. Those who are homeless and living in a shelter may also be eligible. Those who are in college are not eligible, however.

Where to Apply for Food Stamps?

When all members of the household are either on SSI or are eligible for SSI, they can file an application through their local Social Security office for food stamps. If this is not the case, then they will have to either file at their local welfare office or online. If you qualify for the Food Stamp program, they will have 30 days to provide you with food stamps. Depending on when you applied and turned in your application, you will get back food stamps because your benefits begin the day you turn your application in. Also, if you qualify for emergency food stamps, you will only have to show one form of identification. However, to keep getting food stamps every month, you will have to supply them with other forms of documentation.

Income Limits for Food Stamps

If every member of your family is receiving SSI or cash assistance then you are automatically eligible for food stamps regardless of the household income. Also, if you have disabled or elderly people living with you, then you may also be eligible for food stamps regardless of your income. However, there are certain limits for other people and these limits may not be exceeded. For example, a family of 8 cannot receive more than $5,000 per month, a family of 7 may not receive more than $4,500 per month, a family of 6 may not receive more than $4,000 per month and so on.

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