In 2009, about 600,000 individuals and families in 313,000 households received food benefits. The Food Stamp Program in Oregon was renamed to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2010 after it was brought to the attention that it no longer uses stamps. As part of the "Farm Bill" that changed the federal food stamps program by the USDA, Oregon changed over to SNAP along with many other states. The new name also denotes the renewed attention to nutrition and healthy diets. For low-income households, SNAP is one of the only programs that delivers consistent monthly benefits to thousands of Oregon families and individuals. For these men and women, the struggle to maintain a healthy diet while paying bills means that often things have to come before a decent meal. With SNAP, families are able to manage their finances better and make healthier choices about what they eat. It is important for residents in Oregon to understand what this program is for so many and how it can help many more families avoid hunger. You can find out more about the program from the SNAP website. You can also find out how to use your EBT card and what foods are approved for purchase with food assistance benefits.
Applying for Food Stamps
To apply for food stamps, you can go online to by clicking here. You can create an account and file a new application easily. You can also use this form to complete an application for medical benefits. It is important to have the right information gathered before applying. You will need your contact details, social security number, income and asset information, as well as the name, birthdates and social security numbers for all those living in your household. If you prefer to print and download a form, you can do see by clicking here. If you want to contact a caseworker to receive a printed form in the mail or you have trouble accessing the online options, you can always call 1-800-723-3638 or visit a DHS self-sufficiency office. You can find a directory for these offices located here.
Receiving Food Stamps
There are certain factors that determine your eligibility for receiving food assistance. These mostly deal with your monthly gross income and the size of your household. You can use the Food Stamp Calculator to determine what benefits you qualify for. On this tool, you can enter number of people who buy and prepare food together in your home, name any persons 60 years or older, or who are disabled, and other deciding factors for eligibility. The tool will also allow you to assess your income and see if you are over the income cap. Resources and assets are another limit that are placed upon recipients. In general, you cannot make more than $2,000 a month for a family of four, and you also cannot have assets over $2,000, which include savings accounts, cash on hand, checking accounts, and money market accounts. If you are eligible, you will receive an approval letter in the mail with an EBT card. The approval letter will tell you the amount of your funds per month and when to expect your funds. You can begin using your EBT card right away like a debit card to purchase food items that are on the approved USDA list. You can find out what items are approved by consulting this list.
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. For questions about the food stamp program or to inquire about other forms, you can always contact Oregon SafeNet at 1-800-723-3638 or a local DHS self-sufficiency office.