Medicare open enrollment has begun! Learn all about it in AARP's guide to Medicare made easy.
AARP Rhode Island, May 3, 2010
The Rhode Island Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program (formerly called Food Stamps) that helps 31 million Americans pay for food each month.
As more and more hard working individuals and families face difficult choices, such as between purchasing groceries or paying bills, SNAP is a way to reduce food insecurity.
Unexpected day-to-day circumstances have put more and more Americans in vulnerable, often unforeseen positions. The good news is that help is available through SNAP - where everyone has the opportunity to eat right, even when money is tight.
According to Rhode Island Department of Human Service officials, last December, participation in SNAP was up for another month. There are now 126,870 individuals participating in the SNAP program in the Ocean State. This is an increase of 4,034 since November of 2009. 1146 households applied for SNAP in November 2009 using the Online Application – a significant decrease from the Online Applications in October.
Since over half of these applications were either processed or archived with no eligibility, AARP and other advocates are working with Department of Human Services to attempt to determine why most online applications never achieve approval. One problem reported by Department personnel is that, due to lay-offs and the hiring freeze to balance the state budget, the “workload is crushing”.
SNAP is included in the plan to help our economy recover.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides an additional $300 million for states to administer SNAP. SNAP also provides a significant boost to local economies. Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates nearly twice as much ($9.20) in total community spending. Serving over 1 in 10 Americans in November 2008, SNAP’s role among those most in need has never been more relevant.
How does SNAP help?
SNAP helps to pay part of your monthly grocery bill (in 2007, the average benefit for seniors was $72/month for individuals and $90 per household).
You get a special debit card to use at most grocery stores, certain senior centers, farmer’s markets and meal delivery services (such as Meals on Wheels).
You swipe the card just like a credit card. The cost of the groceries you buy is deducted from your account balance, and your new benefits are added automatically each month.
Who Should Apply?
Any older American who needs help paying for groceries.
Find everything you need to get started in any state at AARP’s Benefits QuickLINK Website. AARP’s SNAP Map is a one-stop resource.
How do you get benefits?
Although SNAP is the federal name, states may have their own names and rules for food assistance.
Normally you must file an application form, have a face-to-face interview, and provide proof (verification) of certain information, such as income and expenses. However, some states may waive the face-to-face interview if all members of a household are 60 and older.
Social Security and SSI recipients may receive food stamp applications at the Social Security office, and Social Security staff can help SSI participants complete applications.
Some people think that SNAP isn’t worth the paperwork. But it is. Signing up is easy. It just takes a few minutes to apply online or fill out a form and mail it.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Members save 20% on all personal checks, business checks and tax forms, and accessories.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
Members can apply for term coverage from AARP Life Insurance Program from New York Life.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at