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Struggling to Afford Food? See If You Qualify for SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you purchase more of the foods you need.

Watch this video to learn about the SNAP application process.

If rising food costs are making it harder for you to put food on the table, you’re not alone. About 1 in 10 older adults don't have consistent access to enough food for an active lifestyle. 

Help Is Available

SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that helps people make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to purchase food. The benefits are loaded onto a discreet debit card to help pay for groceries.

About 8.7 million households that include adults over 50 participate in SNAP and receive an average of $142 per month, though many more are eligible. SNAP benefits are adjusted to keep up with rising food prices each year to help millions of people — of all ages — afford a healthy nutritious diet.

The Truth About SNAP

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about SNAP: what it is, who it’s for, and how it works. Let’s clear up some of those myths:

  1. SNAP is not just for families with children. Any adult, of any age, who meets the income requirements is eligible.
  2. Your participation in SNAP will not take the benefit from anyone else who needs it.
  3. Getting SNAP is easier than ever. Adults over 60 or any adults with a disability have different income requirements and deductions, which can qualify you for larger monthly benefits.
  4. By enrolling in SNAP, older adults can receive many state and local benefits to help with household budgets, such as money for fresh produce, utilities, phone and internet, and local transportation.

Navigating the Eligibility Requirements and Process

Get more information on everything you need to know to apply for — and maximize — your SNAP benefits in your state.

What Is Food Security?

Food security isn’t just about having enough food to eat. It’s about having enough good, nutritious food to sustain you and keep you healthy.

Some 10 million people over 50 are classified as having low or very low food security. Assistance programs such as SNAP are designed to address the problem of food insecurity throughout the U.S. population.

Learn about the Food and Nutrition Security Research supported by AARP Foundation.

Strategies to Support Food-Insecure Older Adults

AARP Foundation and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) hosted a webinar that discusses strategies to ease the food versus medicine dilemma for older SNAP households, including the medical expense deduction. Presenters reviewed strategies for streamlining state excess medical deduction policies and effective outreach to help SNAP participants who are older adults or have a disability get the correct amount of SNAP benefits.

AARP Foundation SNAP Grantmaking

In addition, through grantmaking, AARP Foundation collaborates with community organizations to make it easier for older adults with low income to apply for SNAP benefits.

We’re currently concentrating our efforts in 22 U.S. states and territories with high rates of senior poverty: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about AARP Foundation Grantmaking.


Find the SNAP application in your area and apply today.



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