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Food Assistance in Washington

If you cannot afford food and groceries as a resident of Washington State, fret not. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was designed to cater to low-income individuals and families that cannot pay for the cost of proper nutritional goods. Monthly benefits are available if you need help purchasing food and meals.

SNAP Eligibility in Washington

Prior to applying for food stamps in Washington, you must first determine whether or not you are eligible to collect SNAP benefits. Your food stamp eligibility is based on your monthly income (prior to taxes being taken out), along with the size of your household. Then, your benefits are determined by examining your expenses (rent, childcare, etc.) in order to determine the amount of monthly benefits you will receive. In order to be eligible to collect Basic Food benefits in Washington, your household is allowed to have an income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The income limits for SNAP in Washington as they apply to your household size are as follows:

  • Household of one person: $1,916
  • Household of two people: $2,586
  • Household of three people: $3,256
  • Household of four people: $3,926
  • Household of five people: $4,596

Note that asset limits do not apply to your household if your total monthly income is under the limit.

How to Apply for SNAP in Washington

Once you have determined that your household is eligible to apply for food stamps in Washington, you can proceed with the SNAP application process through Washington Connection. Begin by creating a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account, which will allow you to start your food assistance application, save it, and continue at a later date – if need be. You will also be able to use your SAW account to view the status of your application and access your Client Benefit Account Information. The following items are mandatory to provide when applying for SNAP in Washington:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your citizenship status or alien status
  • Your income
  • Your assets and resources
  • Your housing costs
  • Your utility costs
  • Your childcare costs
  • Any other household circumstances that apply to your finances

Note that the information you enter will be retained for 90 days. If you do not speak English, you can choose to apply for food assistance in Washington in the following languages:

  • Cambodian
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

What can I purchase with SNAP benefits?

As determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Nutrition Service has set rules on what you can and cannot purchase with your SNAP benefits in Washington State.

With SNAP benefits, you are able to purchase:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Cereals and breads.
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy products.
  • Fish, meat, poultry and eggs.
  • Plants and/or seeds to produce food for your home.
  • Other food items that are not classified as hot, prepared foods.

You cannot use your Basic Food benefits for any of the following:

  • Cash exchanges
  • Food from restaurants
  • Hot, prepared foods
  • Food that you will eat at any establishment
  • Household supplies
  • Soaps or cleaning products
  • Paper products
  • Medicines and vitamins
  • Wine, beer and liquor
  • Cigarettes and tobacco

Note: Food stamps cannot be used by or for any person who does not reside in your household.