SNAP, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a federal program that provides low-income individuals and families with the resources to purchase nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Government provided an additional amount to SNAP recipients in order to ensure that citizens could sustain themselves during the emergency. However, the extra aid expired on March 1, 2023, resulting in a decrease in the amount of money families receive.
This decrease means that families will no longer receive the support they have become accustomed to as part of the hunger relief program for COVID-19. As such, they will receive at least $95 dollars less. This has left many recipients wondering what they can and cannot purchase with the coupons that will continue to be granted to them.
It is important to note that SNAP food stamps can be used to purchase a wide variety of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken, and fish, dairy products, bread and cereals, as well as other foods like sandwiches and non-alcoholic beverages. Recipients can also use the coupons to purchase seeds and plants for the production of food at home.
However, there are several items that cannot be purchased with SNAP food stamps. These include beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco, vitamins, medications, and supplements, live animals (with the exception of shellfish, wild-caught fish, and those that were killed before store pickup), point-of-sale hot foods, pet food, cleaning supplies, paper products and other household items, hygiene items, and cosmetics.
Though the SNAP food stamp program is a federal program, it is administered by state agencies through local offices. The program assists low-income households in purchasing nutritious food, ensuring that they have access to the food they need to thrive.
Overall, while the decrease in the amount of money families may receive through SNAP is frustrating for many, it is important to remember that the program remains a key resource for low-income individuals and families to access nutritious food. Through the support provided by SNAP and other federal programs, communities can continue to work towards a healthier and more equitable future.