SNAP benefits now available for eligible students

Do+not+be+afraid+to+seek+help.+Food+security+is+crucial+to+meet+dietary+needs+for+a+productive%2C+happy+and+healthy+life.+

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Do not be afraid to seek help. Food security is crucial to meet dietary needs for a productive, happy and healthy life.

Addison Martin, Staff Writer

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, is now taking applications for students who meet the eligibility requirements. While some students may dismiss the idea of taking part in such a program, there are many benefits towards your health and finances to consider.

The purpose of SNAP is to distribute monthly food budgets and raise nutritional levels of low-income households, which might possibly lead to the increased health of the nation in its entirety. This could mean better health not only for students, but for their families as well.

Eligibility for SNAP benefits is based on need. Factors such as the number of people in a household and their income help determine this.

To apply, you must have a current bank balance (both savings and checking combined) of $2,001, or a current bank balance of $3,001 if sharing your household with a person aged 60 or older and/or a household member with a disability.

It usually takes 30 days or less from the time you submit your application to receive a letter in the mail stating whether you were accepted or denied for benefits.

If you qualify for expedited food benefits, you may get your approval faster. Expedited food benefits are benefits you receive more quickly when you meet separate requirements. You do not have to apply for these separately.

The requirements for eligibility of expedited food benefits are: your household has less than $150 in monthly income, you do not have cash resources over $100, you are a migrant or seasonal farm worker that has no cash resources over $100 or your household’s total monthly income and cash resources are less than the household’s monthly rent, mortgage and utilities.

With these benefits, you can buy food from the store, as well as plants and seeds to grow your own food. You will not be charged sales tax on items you buy with food benefits. You cannot buy pet food, vitamins, medicines, alcohol, tobacco, fast food or food that will be heated and eaten in the store.

To apply, visit the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website, or the Bryan County Department of Human Services office located at 432 West Highway 70 in Durant to fill out an application and request for benefits.

When you apply for benefits, make sure to obtain the right documentation such as proof of identity, earned income and social security information.

There is also a required interview with a local DHS worker. These interviews can be completed either through the phone or in person.

Research shows that SNAP helps to reduce poverty, improves food insecurity and even reduces health care costs. SNAP is effective because it prevents families or individuals from being forced to skip meals due to lack of resources.

SNAP provides an opportunity for a healthier lifestyle and more accommodating economic benefits.

For any questions, contact OKDHS at (405)-521-3444 or [email protected], or visit okdhslive.org for more information.

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