Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Food Supplement (SNAP) Benefits are Changing

All clients who receive Food Supplement (SNAP) benefits should have recently received information about changes to benefits that went into effect Nov 1, 2013. USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Kevin Concannon, recently published information about the changes, which can be read on the USDA blog.

Here is additional information from the Maine DHHS:

Why are benefits changing?

Benefits are changing for two reasons. First, benefits are changing due to the annual cost of living increase set by the federal government. These changes happen every year.

Second, benefits are going down because a federal law which raised Food Supplement benefits in April 2009 is expected to expire on November 1, 2013.

When are benefits changing?

On October 1, benefits may go up a little bit due to annual changes in the cost of living. On November 1, all benefits will go down.

How much are benefits going down on November 1?

Benefit amounts depend on many things, like income, household size and expenses. So it is hard to say exactly how much benefits will change. But if you live in a household of four and nothing else changes, your benefit will go down about $36 a month.

How can clients eat healthy on a low budget?

Here are some places where you can find tips to help you prepare healthy meals on a low budget:

How do I check my Food Supplement balance? 

  • Check the Food Supplement balance on your last grocery receipt. 
  • Log on to to set up an account and view your balance.
  • Call the toll-free number (1-800-477-7428) on the back of your EBT card.
GSFB Network is a blog for partner agencies of Good Shepherd Food Bank focused on feeding Maine's hungry.