SNAP (Formerly Food Stamps)



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers SNAP at the Federal level through its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).  In 2008, the U.S. Congress changed the name of the Food Stamp Program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  This new name better reflects the goal of the program:  to help provide healthy food to low-income families with children and vulnerable adults.  Simply put, SNAP helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.

Locally, SNAP is administered through the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), which determines eligibility and allotments, and distribution of benefits.  SNAP benefits are provided on an electronic benefit card (EBT) that is used like an ATM or debit card and accepted at most grocery stores and many farmers' markets. 

Through various nutrition education partners, SNAP also helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices.  Healthy eating and having enough to eat is critically important, as recent research shows:Poor diets contribute to serious health problems in adults, especially the elderly.
  • Poor diets can cause impaired brain development in children, creating a greater risk of educational failure.
  • Healthy food can lead to better school performance for children and better health outcomes for both children and adults.

Eligibility & Online Pre-Screen Information
The USDA establishes eligibility requirements for SNAP.  Eligibility is based on your household’s resources, income and other requirements such as residence, citizenship or qualified non-citizen status, and cooperation with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment & Training program.  To see if you may qualify, use the benefits estimator at  Even you are unsure whether you qualify, you should still apply.

   Arizona Self Help

Apply Online Today & Keep Track of Your Benefits
In Arizona, you can conveniently apply online for SNAP benefits using Health-e-Arizona.  Once you've applied, you can create an account at MyFamilyBenefits to keep track of your application, review information, report changes online, and more.

More Information:
 History of SNAP / Food Stamps
SNAP Recipes
Latest SNAP news and information from the USDA
SNAP-Ed Connection:  a dynamic online resource center for SNAP Education providers. SNAP-Ed Connection is funded by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and maintained at the National Agricultural Library's Food and Nutrition Information Center.