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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The SNAP program helps provide healthy foods to low-income families. If you are eligible for SNAP, you will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is used like a debit card at the grocery store. The card uses money from a SNAP account set up for the eligible family to pay for food items. The benefits can only be used on eligible food purchases.

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Immediate Assistance

Immediate food assistance is available: If you need food assistance immediately, and are eligible, we can provide benefits within seven days. You must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for the expedited services.

Get a debit-like card.

SNAP Benefits

SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called Food Stamps). The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare help Idaho families put healthy food on the table. Eligible families get a debit-like card to use at the grocery store, farmer’s markets, and other food outlets. They can also help you find cooking classes and resources on how to make healthy meals at home.

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Household Requirements:

  • Must be a citizen or legal immigrant
  • Must be an Idaho resident
  • Your household income must be less than the program income limits for your household size
  • With some exceptions, you must work or participate in an employment and training program

For most households, resources must be under $5,000 to qualify for SNAP. Resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Property
  • Household and recreational vehicles

Households can receive SNAP benefits from only one state at a time. If you have recently moved to Idaho, you must end your SNAP benefits in your previous state, prior to applying for SNAP in Idaho.

Idaho Health and Welfare
What Can You Buy?

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There are some restrictions on what you can buy with your SNAP benefits card. For example, non-food items, hot foods, items that will be eaten in the store, beer, wine, cigarettes, and tobacco are not eligible for purchase.

Your SNAP benefits card is intended to help provide healthy food for you and your family. Use it to buy:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants to produce food for your family

    How do I apply?

    To find out if you are eligible for Idaho’s SNAP program, you can apply at one of the locations throughout the state or call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at 1-877-456-1233. They will need to know your monthly income, household size, any resources (such as savings accounts), and your citizenship status to determine your eligibility.  For more information visit the website at


    Phone:  1-877-456-1233

Eligibility based on immigration status

Non-citizens eligible with no waiting period

Only U.S. citizens and certain lawfully-present non-citizens may receive SNAP benefits. Non-citizens who are eligible based on their immigration status must also meet other SNAP eligibility requirements such as income and resource limits.

The following non-citizens are eligible with no waiting period:

  • Qualified alien children under 18 years old
  • Refugees admitted under section 207 of INA (includes victims of severe forms of trafficking)
  • Victims of Trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
  • Asylees under Section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  • Deportation withheld under 243(h) or 241(b)(3) of INA
  • Amerasian immigrants under 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act
  • Cuban or Haitian entrants as defined in 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980
  • Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants under Section 101(a)(27) of the INA
  • Certain American Indians born abroad
  • Members of Hmong or Highland Laotian tribes, legally living in the U.S., that helped the U.S. military during the Vietnam era, and their spouses or surviving spouses and unmarried dependent children
  • Elderly individuals born on or before August 22nd, 1931 and who lawfully resided in the U.S. on August 22nd, 1996
  • Lawful Permanent Residents in the U.S. who are receiving government payments for disability or blindness
  • Lawful Permanent Residents with a military connection (veteran, on active duty, or spouse or child of a veteran or active duty service member)

    Qualified aliens eligible after a waiting period

    A qualified alien is a non-citizen with a certain immigration status defined under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).

    A qualified alien who does not belong to one of the non-citizen groups listed above can be considered for SNAP benefits after a waiting period if the person is:

    • A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) who has earned, or can be credited with, 40 quarters of work, or
    • Is an alien in one of the following groups who has been in qualified status for 5 years:
      • Paroled for at least one year under section 212(d)(5) of INA
      • Granted conditional entry under 203(a)(7) of INA in effect prior to April 1, 1980
      • Battered spouse, child or parent with a petition pending under 204(a)(1) A) or (B) or 244(a)(3) of INA
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It is our vision to create a hunger-free Idaho