With federal stimulus funds now gone, and perhaps also your state unemployment benefits, your financial situation may now qualify you for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as food stamps.
Even if you have been rejected previously, your Pandemic caused hardship may make you eligible.
SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program, and it’s FREE.
SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, which can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized food stores.
Find out if you are eligible for SNAP Food Stamps
To be eligible, households must meet certain bank balance limits. A household with someone over age 60 or a disabled member may have a higher bank balance limit.
Check one of these federal government website pages to check your eligibility for SNAP benefits:
- Use this free tool to check your eligibility for SNAP benefits.
- Use this free tool from the US Dept. of Agriculture to check your eligibility.
The next step is to contact the local SNAP office, since each state has its own application form.
New York City, because of its size, has its own SNAP offices.
How to apply for food stamps in NYC
You can apply online on ACCESS HRA.
You can call the Infoline at 718-557-1399 to have an application mailed to you
You can pick up an application at a NYC SNAP center
SNAP Applicants can fax an application to MARU at 917-639-1111.
You can also print out an application and drop off at a SNAP center
If you are eligible, you will receive your benefits within 30 days.
These items can be purchased with SNAP benefits
- Food or food products meant to be eaten by people
- Seeds to grow vegetables and plants that provide food, such as basil or tomato
- Baby formula, diabetic, and diet foods
- Spices, herbs, pectin, shortening and other edible items used for cooking
- Water and ice labeled for human consumption
- Snack foods
These items can not be purchased with SNAP benefits
- Prepared hot foods in grocery stores
- Any prepared food (hot or cold) sold and meant to be eaten at the store
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
- Cleaning products, paper products, toiletries, and cooking utensils
- Pet supplies
- Items for food preservation such as canning jars and lids, freezer containers, or food wrapping paper
- Medicines, vitamins, or minerals
- Items for gardening such as fertilizer and peat moss
Freelancers Union has created a Freelancers Relief Fund that will provide up to $1000 to freelancers experiencing financial hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Playwrights Horizons has a terrific roundup of remote work and grant opportunities.
Check this Coronavirus Resource Kit
NYC-DSA Covid-19 Mutual Aid and Organizing Response hub is from a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including the newest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing email@example.com