SNAP Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) provides food assistance for nearly 1.6 million low-income New Yorkers including families, the elderly, and the disabled. The program can help you feed your family and afford fresh and healthy food.  SNAP comes on a pre-filled debit card and can be used at many locations, including supermarkets, most farmers markets, and some Green Carts.

Many people don't know they are eligible for SNAP benefits. For example, guardians who are not eligible for SNAP benefits themselves can apply on behalf of their children. Seniors on fixed incomes may be eligible for help affording healthy foods. The only way to know is to apply. You can own your own home or car, have money saved, or be an immigrant, and still be eligible for SNAP benefits. Each application is evaluated on an individual basis.

If your application is approved, you will receive SNAP benefits within 30 days of when you submitted your application. In some cases, emergency benefits can be issued within five days.

How to Apply

What items can be purchased with SNAP Benefits?

  • Food or food products (except for pet food)
  • Food-producing seeds and plants to grow at home
  • Baby formula, diabetic, and diet foods
  • Edible items used in cooking, such as herbs and spices
  • Snack foods

What items cannot be purchased with SNAP Benefits?

  • Prepared hot foods in grocery stores
  • Any prepared food (hot or cold) sold and meant to be eaten at the store
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Cleaning products, paper products, toiletries, and cooking utensils
  • Pet supplies
  • Items for food preservation such as canning jars and lids, freezer containers, or food wrapping paper
  • Medicines, vitamins or minerals
  • Items for gardening such as fertilizer and peat moss

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political belief, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964  (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.