The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly referred to as Food Stamps, has been asked by the state of Tennessee and the USDA to remind those age 60 and older that support may be available.
Bonnie Walker, SNAP program coordinator for the South Central Tennessee Development District, encourages all possible applicants to apply for SNAP benefits.
She went on to say that funds may be lost in the county on a yearly basis because individuals who are eligible have not applied for SNAP.
Walker said she will look at all shelter costs and medical deductions, especially outstanding medical bills, in making a decision on eligibility.
“I work 13 southern Middle Tennessee counties,” Walker said. “I will work with you from start to finish to get you qualified.”
She went on to say the qualification process can be completed by calling 931-379-2955 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
“We will work together to see if we can get you to the required net income to qualify you for SNAP,” Walker said.
Tennesseans who utilize SNAP to feed their families now have a new resource to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Tennessee for a pilot program that allows SNAP benefits to be used to buy food online with Amazon and Walmart.
SNAP recipients can now use their benefits to buy food on Amazon. Walmart is accepting SNAP benefits statewide.
The USDA has additionally announced plans to expand online purchasing to more retailers in the future.
Families can access this new resource by entering their Electronic Benefit Card information on Amazon’s SNAP-dedicated website or by following the guidelines Walmart has established for SNAP online purchasing.
More than 900 thousand individuals in Tennessee receive SNAP benefits.
“This change provides families who depend on SNAP for daily nutrition the ability to buy food without ever stepping foot in a supermarket,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “Online purchasing supports our mission to build a thriving Tennessee by helping flatten the curve during COVID-19 and making life easier for families once the emergency has passed.”
Tennessee is now one of 36 states where online purchasing is allowed in addition to the District of Columbia.
SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery fees and SNAP recipients who receive cash benefits on their EBT cards will not be able to apply those non-SNAP benefits to online purchases.