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Food Assistance Program (SNAP)

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Maine’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is called the Food Supplement Program. This program helps low-income people buy the food they need for good health. You may be able to get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance if you:

  • work for low wages
  • are unemployed or work part time,
  • receive welfare or other public assistance payments,
  • are elderly or disabled and live on a small income, or
  • are homeless,

State public assistance agencies run the program through their local offices. The following basic rules apply in most States, but a few States have different rules.
The amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance you can get is based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Thrifty Food Plan, which is an estimate of how much it costs to buy food to prepare nutritious, low-cost meals for your household. This estimate is changed every year in October to keep pace with food prices.

In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a household is normally a group of people who live together and buy food and prepare meals together. If your household passes the program's eligibility tests, the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance you get will depend on the number of people in your household and on how much monthly income is left after certain expenses (deductions) are subtracted.

For most households, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance is only part of their food budget; they must spend some of their own cash along with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance in order to buy enough food for a month.

For more information or to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, you should contact your local DHHS Supplemental Nutrition Assistance office or call 1-800-442-6003 and ask for the Food Supplement Program Manager. Maine SNAP website http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ofi/services/snap/faq.html