What is SNAP?
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps. It is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your food budget and buy healthy food.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers' markets and co-op food programs.
SNAP benefits are given to you each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card. Paper coupons are no longer used.
SNAP is a nutrition program. It is not a welfare cash assistance program (which is called TAFDC). You do not have to be receiving TAFDC to get SNAP — these are separate programs.
SNAP is a federal entitlement program. This means anyone who is eligible will receive benefits. You will not be taking away benefits from someone else if you apply.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees SNAP at the federal level. In Massachusetts, you apply for benefits through the state agency that administers the program, called the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).