Mississippi Department of Human Services handles the Division of Economic Assistance, which oversees the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Mississippi. The USDA changed the name of the federal food stamp program to SNAP in 2008. SNAP provides food stamp benefits for individuals who struggle to make ends meet and frequently find their food budgets most affected. With the help of SNAP, households can stretch a food budget further and provide a better diet with healthier choices. Low-income households are the most at risk for hunger, but the SNAP program aims to end those trials for families in Mississippi. There are a few factors in determining who receives aid. There are also limitations on what types of food that you can buy with food stamps. In general, low-income families and individuals are the most likely to be approved to receive food stamp benefits. Those who receive low wages, who are unemployed or only work part time, receive TANF or SSI or who are disabled are the most likely to receive food assistance.
Applying for Food Stamps
Whether you qualify for SNAP benefits or not, anyone can apply for food stamps. However, you may only receive benefits if you qualify. For that reason, you may want to contact a local office to request more information and receive an application in the mail. You can find a county and regional directory with Economic Assistance Offices. You may also download and print an Application for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and SNAP. Only one adult household member or authorized representative must sign the application for SNAP benefits under penalty of perjury. You must also supply some basic information about yourself on the application, including your name, address and signature. Once you turn in the application to your local office, you receive a mandatory interview, in which you will need to provide some documents, such as proof of identity, social security numbers, proof of income, bank statements, and proof of shelter or household costs. After that, your application will be processed and your eligibility will be considered. Usually low-income households are eligible to receive food stamp benefits if they meet the requirements, but benefits are also decided on a situational basis. You can find out more about the requirements from consulting Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Receiving Food Stamps
Once you complete the interview, you will receive benefits within 30 days if you pass the eligibility tests. Your eligibility will largely be based on your income and your ability to provide for your family. In some cases, you can receive emergency food assistance by calling 1-800-345-6347. After your interview, you will first receive a notice if you are approved. The notice will also explain if you do not qualify. The notice will also show the monthly benefit amount and the length of the certification period if approved. Once approved, you will receive monthly food stamp benefits. In most cases, you will be mailed an EBT card, which is used like a debit card at approved locations to buy food. The type of food you buy must also comply with USDA regulations. In most cases, you can buy any food at a super market and grocery store, as long as it is not prepared for immediate consumption. You may also use your food stamps to buy plants and seeds. Your food stamps must be used for your household alone and to prepare meals with those in your home.
Finding Food Service Locations
SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. To talk to someone at the Mississippi Department of Human Services, you can call 1-800-345-6347 or 601-359-4500. If you want to request a form or more assistance, you can write to: Mississippi Department of Human Services750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202