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Publication #FCS8837

Healthy Eating: Improve Nutrition with SNAP1

Linda B. Bobroff2

SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called Food Stamps) is one of several nutrition programs that can help people eat healthful diets. In Florida, there are about half a million older adults eligible for SNAP who do not receive them. If you think you may be eligible, please call the Elder Help Line (1-800-963-5337) today and ask for more information and help with applying. You can also get information about SNAP at [May 2014].

What is SNAP?

Figure 1. 

Benefit Security® Card / EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card


Image courtesy of State of Florida

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

SNAP helps people with limited resources buy healthy foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides this program to eligible persons of all ages. SNAP provides eligible persons with an easy-to-use Benefit Security® Card, commonly called an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. The EBT card is secure, and is widely accepted.

Isn't this 'welfare'?

No! SNAP is a USDA nutrition program that helps people with limited resources have a healthy diet. Everyone deserves to have enough to eat and foods they enjoy.

How much can I get?

The average monthly benefit in 2010 was $141 per person, but even an extra few dollars each month can help. Figure 2 shows what about $18 can buy (cost of food varies quite a bit depending on where you live).

Figure 2. 

A little really can go a long way towards nutritious foods, including broccoli, tuna, peanut butter, bananas, pears, canned kidney beans, quick oats, whole-grain bread, carrots, brown rice, milk, pasta, and yogurt—all ingredients for healthy eating!


UF/IFAS photo

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]



La versión en español de este documento es Alimentación Saludable: Mejore su nutrición con SNAP (FCS8837-Span). This document is FCS8837, one in a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: January 2007. Revised September 2011. Visit the EDIS website at


Linda B. Bobroff, PhD, RD, LD/N, professor; Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; University of Florida; Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.