Food stamps for Pittsburgh seniors: Not the way you might remember – Part One
Food stamps may be the last thing on Pittsburgh Seniors’ minds, but in today’s economy, they might be worth taking a second look at. This is difficult for some seniors as their generation is known for going without before they would ask for a “handout”.
According to the Pennsylvania Hunger Action Center, in 2006, 1,092,298 people received food stamps. Four years later that figure jumped up to 1,574,783, almost a 50 per cent increase.
It is encouraging to see that people are seeking the help they need, but many seniors are going without the help they are eligible for because they are embarrassed to apply, and to have anyone see them at the grocery store with “stamps”.
The Federal government addressed these concerns: TheUnited States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service states:
“As of Oct. 1, 2008,Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. The new name reflects the changes we’ve made to meet the needs of our clients, including a focus on nutrition and an increase in benefit amounts. SNAP is the federal name for the program. State programs may have different names.” Pennsylvania also calls it the SNAP program.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):
It’s a new program name and new – and easy – procedures to get food help. In addition, it’s been engineered to be a much more private process. Gone are the days when you would stand at the grocery check-out line meekly doling out “stamps”.
You will be issued an “ACCESS” card, similar to a debit or credit card. After you make your food purchases, you swipe the card and the amount of purchase is deducted. Each month your card is electronically loaded with the amount you are eligible for.
SNAP Program for Seniors: Are you eligible? Follow these guidelines if you are over the age of 60:
Household Size Income Amt. You Will Receive/Mo.
1 1,805 $200
2 1,943 $367
3 2,442 $526
To see if you’re eligible for food help apply online:
Download an application, or call:
Allegheny County Assistance Office Headquarters
301 5th Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Part Two: Pittsburgh seniors: A newer way to apply for food stamps