SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is the nation’s largest nutrition program to help low-income individuals and families. The goal of SNAP is to improve food security and nutrition among low-income Americans.
Each year, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides over $200 million to help senior households in Ohio buy food. The program addresses the growing need for older adult nutrition services. Because nutrition affects the overall wellbeing of seniors, SNAP is a vital resource for many people to get the food they need to remain healthy at home.
SNAP is funded by the National Council on Aging. NCOA provides grant funds to community-based organizations to enroll eligible low-income seniors in SNAP. If you live in Summit County, you will want to check your enrollment eligibility through the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services.
Many older adults are eligible for some assistance. However, not everyone is taking advantage of their benefits. Only 2 out of 5 eligible adults over the age of 60 are enrolled in SNAP. That means that 3 out of 5 seniors who qualify are missing out.
Don’t miss out on the benefits that you could be entitled to. Apply for SNAP today at benefits.ohio.gov or call 844-640-6446.
Some people believe there are stigmas about receiving SNAP benefits. The truth is, shopping with SNAP is easy, convenient, and beneficial to our communities.
If you are an older adult who is on the fence about enrolling, remember that SNAP is a benefit that you have paid into and, if eligible, you are entitled to. By enrolling, you are also never taking benefits away from someone else. If you meet eligibility requirements for SNAP, take advantage of the resource.
Benefits of SNAP to seniors
There are many benefits to enrolling in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Here are just a few!
SNAP Benefit 1: Use SNAP for fresh produce
You can use your SNAP card at participating farmer’s markets. Farmers are a great source for fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Some farmers apply to accept SNAP at their farmer’s markets, helping recipients get access to nutritious food options.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to use your SNAP benefits to buy local produce in your area. If you are a senior enrolled in SNAP in Summit County, be sure to check out VANTAGE Aging’s Senior Health & Services Fair in June for an on-site farmer’s market!
SNAP Benefit 2: Opens the door to even more resources
SNAP may make you eligible for other programs, such as HEAP and PIPP. Being eligible for multiple programs through SNAP enrollment helps seniors avoid having to choose between buying food and paying bills.
HEAP is the Home Energy Assistance Program that provides eligible individuals assistance with their home energy bills. PIPP is the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus. This program is an extended payment arrangement that helps Ohioans maintain their natural gas and/or electric percentage of the person’s household income. Check with your Department of Job and Family Services for eligibility.
SNAP Benefit 3: Renewing eligibility is easy
You can renew your SNAP eligibility by phone. You no longer have to physically go to the Department of Job and Family Services to renew your enrollment. Instead, simply call in and follow the step-by-step process over the phone.
SNAP Benefit 4: You can roll over benefits
Unused SNAP benefits roll over month to month. You do not have to use all of your benefits each month. For example, if you receive $15 per month, you can roll over money each month and have a Thanksgiving feast in November. You do not have to worry about spending down your benefits at the end of each month.
Summit County Department of Job and Family Services has joined forces with VANTAGE Aging to help more seniors understand and participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The agencies are taking a collaborative approach to increasing SNAP enrollments and providing seniors with information on using SNAP benefits to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Summit County DJFS is hosting outreach events for seniors across Summit County. The events, called Seniors, Sandwiches & SNAP, are free and include a nutritious meal provided by VANTAGE Meals on Wheels.
Registration is required. Check the VANTAGE Aging event page at vantageaging.org/events and join our social networks for updates on upcoming SNAP events.
Are you ready to claim your SNAP benefits? Call the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services at 844-640-6446 to get started today!
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.