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What is SNAP?

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, ensures eligible families and individuals with low income receive benefits to supplement their household monthly food budget. This program allows them to obtain a nutritious diet while maintaining good health and directing more of their available income toward essential living expenses. TDHS staff determine the eligibility of applicants based on guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary goals of the program are to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and to improve nutrition and health ineligible households. TDHS has a dual focus on alleviating hunger and establishing or re-establishing self-sufficiency.

Who is Eligible for SNAP Benefits?

Under federal rules, to be eligible for benefits a household’s income and resources must meet three tests: Gross monthly income — that is, household income before any of the program’s deductions are applied — generally must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty line.

Tennesseans Served

(FY 2022-2023)

  • 794,734 Individuals representing 404,180 households served on average each month
  • $1,802,036,736 In SNAP benefits issued
  • $372 Average monthly SNAP benefit per household
  • $116,817,465.32 in Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) funds delivered to 644,303 school age children and 118,373 households with preschool age children

What is the Tennessee Food Stamp Program?

The Tennessee Food Stamp Program, financed 100 percent by Federal funds and administered by the Department of Human Services, provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, and working families. Its importance as a safety net cannot be overemphasized because it provides a mechanism for stretching food dollars for those families and individuals with insufficient income or resources to meet all of their needs. Since the nationwide implementation of the Food Stamp program in 1964, malnutrition has been virtually eliminated; however, hunger and food insecurity continue to exist at unacceptable levels in every state. As a result, a national campaign to end hunger has been initiated by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services.

To receive food stamp benefits, you must first apply for benefits and participate in an interview with DHS staff. If eligible, you will receive a Benefit Security Card or EBT Card, which allows food stamp benefits to be issued and accessed electronically.

Applying for benefits is just the first step. You will need to work with your local DHS office to confirm your eligibility.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee’s SNAP Assistance Hotline

If you need a packet mailed to you or if you simply have questions, contact the SNAP Hotline at 423-279-0430 ext. 204. We can also assist you with filling out your packet by phone.

GSNAP – What it is and How it works

Need support applying for SNAP benefits? Click Here!

GSNAP is a platform that allows you to request information and apply for SNAP benefits online.

If you are in need and interested in applying for SNAP benefits, you can simply click the link above, enter your zip code, and complete the form. Our SNAP Outreach Coordinator will be in touch through email or phone to help you determine the best way for you to complete an application and help you through the application process or answer any questions you may have.

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