Alternative Programs for People Who Don't Qualify for Food Stamps
- Certain individuals may not meet the requirements to qualify for food stamps. Find out about additional programs that may offer free or low-cost food items.
As of March 2021, approximately 18 million adults in the United States surveyed reported some form of food hardship. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial assistance to individuals who meet certain income criteria, but not all people qualify.
Are There Other Programs If I Don’t Qualify for Food Stamps?
For those who don't qualify for food stamps, there are several other programs in the United States, including the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. These programs offer nutritious food at no cost to help low-income individuals and families struggling with food hardship. Below is a rundown of each program.
Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition program (SFMNP) provides fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey to older adults aged 60 and above. To qualify, a recipient's household income cannot exceed 185% of the federal poverty income level. guidelines. Twenty-seven states and two tribal nations currently participate in this program, and all fruits and vegetables provided are locally grown.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides monthly food packages to seniors age 60 and over. The program is designed to help older adults who meet certain income guidelines maintain healthy diets with USDA food items. The food boxes contain healthy items such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, plant-based proteins and grains. All food boxes are distributed to participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations through the USDA.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program/Local Food Banks
The United States is home to over 200 food banks that provide food for low-income individuals through over 63,000 agencies. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides U.S. food banks with commodity food items, and the banks then serve the public directly or distribute food to soup kitchens, shelters and nonprofits that provide assistance in local communities. In most cases, there are no eligibility requirements for people to visit food banks or food pantries, but they may need to self-certify that they are experiencing food hardship.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
The Child and Adult Care Food Program is specifically designed to provide nutritious food to low-income children in daycare centers, shelters and after-school programs and low-income adults in adult daycare centers. Healthy food and snacks are distributed to participating daycare centers, shelters and after-school programs that meet meal pattern standards.
What Is the Maximum Income to Qualify for SNAP?
The maximum gross monthly income for single individuals to qualify for SNAP is $1,287 with a monthly net of $990, and the maximum gross monthly income for two people is $1,726 with a net of $1,335. The maximum amount increases with each additional household or family member, and the total monthly gross income for households must equal 130% of the federal poverty level.