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How can I participate in the SNAP Program if I am a merchant?

SNAP provides financial help to buy food at certain establishments that are approved for the program. We explain how to participate if you are a merchant.

How to participate in the SNAP Program as a merchant

There are several food aid programs in the United States. One of the most popular is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

SNAP provides money to low-income families to buy food using an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT). This works like a debit card that can be used at certain grocery stores, as well as markets.

If you are a merchant and want to accept SNAP benefits at your store or market, there are a few steps to take. Below we’ll walk you through the process.

How can I participate in the SNAP Program if I am a merchant?

According to the web portal of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers SNAP, a person can request acceptance of SNAP benefits at their store or market by following these steps, which apply only to retail stores and farmers markets:

Get a USDA account

Before you can start your application, you must register for a USDA electronic authentication account. Later, activate your e-authentication account.

This may interest you: What is the maximum amount of SNAP assistance in Florida?

Complete the SNAP application

After you start your application, you have 30 days to complete and submit it. If your application is not submitted within 30 days, it will be deleted.

If you own 10 or more stores, you will be considered a multi-store owner (MSO). If so, you can email SNAPRetailers@fns.usda.gov and provide your contact information, your company name, and the reason for your inquiry. A representative from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will work directly with you to license your stores.

Submit supporting documentation

Your application will not be complete until you submit the required supporting documents. Instructions for submitting your documentation are provided at the end of the application.

Check the status of the application

After submitting your supporting documents to FNS, you can check the status of your application in real time.

FNS will process your application and contact you if they need more information. If you have any further questions, call the SNAP Retail Service Center at 1-877-823-4369.