The Missouri Department of Social Services handles the food stamp program as part of the Family Support Division. The Food Stamp Program is also called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). In 2008, Missouri's food stamp program took on the federal program name SNAP in compliance with the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. SNAP helps promote good nutrition and well-being for individuals and families who live on a low-income budget. The allotment of food in Missouri is based on USDA's "Thrifty Food Plan." This allotment is adjusted annually according to the U.S. Department of Labor's analysis on the cost of food. Missouri Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is the method that delivers the food stamp funds, which works like a debit card at participating food vendors and grocery stores. Low-income households benefit greatly from the food stamp program because it allows a family to stretch their budget that much farther to receive a balanced diet. The benefits may be used to purchase food products that are prepared for human consumption, except for tobacco, alcohol, and hot foods, or other foods that are prepared for immediate consumption. Persons may also the EBT card to purchase plants and seeds. Under certain conditions, home delivered meals for the elderly also qualify for benefits. Any EBT cardholder can also check their account, balances and transactions by going to the EbtEdge.com website. If you want to know more about the food support program in Missouri, you can visit the Food Stamp Program.
Applying for Food Stamps
One of the first steps that you need to take is screening to see if you qualify for food stamps benefits. You can use the pre-screening tool on the Missouri Department of Social Services website. The pre-screening tool is important to figuring out if your application will be approved, but anyone can apply for food stamps. However, you need to fill out a form first. You can find the form in multiple languages of the department website. You can download and print the English Form and take it to the local office. You can also find local FSD County Offices on the department website as well. You can also fax a completed application to 573-522-6220. On your application, you'll be asked some basic questions and you will also need to give your contact details, including your name, birth date and signature. You also have to complete an interview to receive food stamp benefits. The interview can be completed in person or by phone. You will be contacted by a representative after your application is processed.
Receiving Food Stamps
Not everyone is eligible to receive cash assistance or food stamps. In general, if you live in a low-income household and have difficulty providing a healthy diet, then you will most likely qualify for food stamps. The best way to figure out if you will receive food stamps is by using the pre-screening tool. There are several factors that determine your eligibility, including income, household size, employment, citizenship and resources. You must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Missouri to receive food stamps. Before you begin the pre-screening tool, you should gather information regarding your income and other expenses, such as medical care, child care, child support or SSI payments. These will be important in determining the exact amount of your aid, if you qualify for any food stamps.
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 about finding a location nearest you or to request a form, you can contact your local FSD county office. You can also call the Human Resource Center for the DSS agency, simply contact (573) 751-4244.