Stay healthy with state’s nutrition program

Are you over 60? Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is for you!

SNAP helps New Yorkers buy food. New York’s older adults are a very large and diverse group of people, differing in age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, health status, and more. Seniors may encounter many barriers when applying for SNAP, including transportation, computer access, health concerns, or physical limitations. We can help.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled, and others feed their families. Eligibility and benefit levels are based on household size, income, and other factors. SNAP benefits can help you put healthy food on the table. If you are eligible for SNAP, you can get monthly benefits to spend at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. To be eligible, you must meet certain income requirements. The amount of benefits you receive depends on things like your household size, income, and expenses. The SNAP benefit is provided through an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, similar to a bank debit card or credit card. If you are eligible, an EBT account is set up for you, and every month your benefits will be deposited right into your account.

The Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) offers one-on-one help applying for SNAP. We can tell if you may be eligible, help you gather the documents you need, and help you with your SNAP application. NOEP services can assist with application assistance including phone interviews and online submission and assistance with submitting documentation. You will also get information on other programs that may help stretch your food budget. The service is free and confidential.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s most important and effective anti-hunger program. Congress made many temporary improvements to SNAP during the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of the program’s ability to deliver benefits quickly in response to job and income losses, including by authorizing emergency allotments and certain eligibility and administrative changes. These changes have either already ended or will expire when the public health emergency ends on May 11.

The cut in SNAP due to the pandemic benefits ending have left many struggling again with more food insecurity so it is important that you add in any medical deductions that you can. Medical deductions can dramatically affect whether someone is potentially eligible for SNAP or how much they receive monthly. Common deductions include prescription costs, insurance premiums, co-pays, outstanding medical bills, and dental/eyeglass costs.

Many older adults use SNAP. Over 600,000 older adults in New York buy groceries with SNAP according to Hunger Solutions NY. Some may feel that they are taking benefits away from others. SNAP is an entitlement program like Medicare or social security. If you are eligible and apply, you will get a benefit. It will not change the amount of SNAP dollars other people get. When you buy groceries with SNAP, you are bringing federal tax dollars back into our community. When you buy groceries with SNAP you are helping the local grocery stores and farmers stay in business and keep people employed.

To obtain more information about the NOEP assistance program call NY Connects Helpline at (716) 753-4582 or e-mail us at CCNYC@chqgov.com NY Connects is the place to call to get the help you need. NY Connects assists people of all ages who have long-term needs and want to stay in the community. NY Connects offers information and assistance services. It is confidential and free and focused on the consumer’s needs and resources available to them. NY Connects is brought to you by the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services.


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