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Grocery stimulus for seniors: who gets money of the SNAP and how to apply?

Food benefits are not restricted to young families and there are millions of seniors that qualify for the support though the amount will reduce this year.

A homeless person sleeps in a window at Terminal 2 in O'Hare International Airport.
Chicago TribuneGetty

According to the National Council On Aging (NCOA) there were more than 5 million older adults did not have access to healthy food in 2019. More than 10% of over 65s live in poverty.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a lifeline for these people. Benefits are transferred to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. The average SNAP benefit for a one-person senior household is $104 per month.

”We have the resources to ensure that all people can live without the threat of deprivation,” said NCOA’s Ramsey Alwin. “But we need the political will to use them.”

How to apply for SNAP benefits

Those who are eligible and want to apply for the SNAP program will need to contact their local SNAP office. The USDA provides a map where applicants can find their state’s local office webpage or phone number, most are toll-free, to sign up and get the EBT card.

Contact information for local offices can also be found in the telephone book in the state or local government pages. Applicants should look under “Food Stamps,” “Social Services,” “Human Services,” “Public Assistance,” or some other similar title.

More information can be found on the USA.gov website, which has links for further food insecurity help.

Lower SNAP benefits to hit America’s poorest

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that every household enrolled in SNAP benefits will receive at least $95 a month less once the EA expires. However some households, those with slightly higher typical income levels, could see their entitlement fall by more than $250 per month.

One study found that expanded SNAP benefits, enacted over the covid-19 pandemic, kept more than 4 million people above the poverty line in the last quarter of 2021 alone. Childhood poverty fell by 14% during the same time period.