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Getting Started With SNAP Food Assistance Benefits

Navigating the world of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — often referred to as SNAP or “food stamps” — can feel overwhelming. Sifting through complex information online often causes additional stress that none of us need when we’re worried about where our next meal will come from. We’re here to help with the information and tools needed to get set up with SNAP and help keep healthy food on the table.

This information focuses on SNAP benefits for Oregon residents. Click here for resources about benefits in Washington.

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How can I apply for SNAP Benefits?

If you are familiar with SNAP and just want to know where to apply, you can fill out an application here:


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Do I qualify for SNAP Benefits?

If you’re not sure if you qualify for benefits, here’s a helpful tool you can use to see if you are eligible:


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Where can I use SNAP Benefits?

If you’re looking for local stores and farmers markets that accept SNAP, this map can help:


If you have more questions about SNAP or how the program can help your family, keep reading!

What exactly are SNAP Benefits?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government-funded program for purchasing food when income is low. Benefits are loaded onto what is called an EBT card, some also refer to it as the “Oregon Trail Card”. The card acts the same as a debit card but the money can only be spent on food products. You bring this card with you to participating stores, farmers markets and food co-ops, and swipe at the register during each purchase. Click here for a map of participating stores, searchable by zip code.

​​Every person’s card has a different amount of money attached to it based upon their personal income and family situation of up to $234 each month for a single-person household or $782 for a family of four. You will receive details about your amount when your application is approved. Each month you are enrolled in the SNAP program, this amount will be added to your card and can be used to purchase food. Any unused funds are available for up to one year from the date they’re added to your card.

In addition, many stores and farmers markets participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program for SNAP recipients, which matches up to $20 each day toward locally grown fruits and vegetables.

What can I purchase with SNAP Benefits?

SNAP can be used to buy:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Meat, poultry, and fish

  • Dairy products

  • Breads and cereals

  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic drinks

  • Seeds and plants that produce food

SNAP can't be used to buy:

  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements

  • Alcohol or tobacco

  • Live animals

  • Pre-prepared hot foods

  • Pet foods

  • Non-edible products

If you are in need of food assistance beyond what SNAP provides, our FoodFinder tool is a great place to start! Our network of free food markets, pantries and meal sites ensures access to some of the resources that SNAP doesn’t cover.

Who is eligible for SNAP Benefits?

You must be a resident of Oregon and make less than a certain amount of money to qualify for SNAP Benefits. That amount is based on the number of people in your household — this includes yourself and the people you share your food purchases with.

The interactive table below shows the maximum amount of income by household size that is allowed to be eligible for SNAP. Click in to see if your income qualifies.

Select Household Size For Maximum Income Eligibility

Household of 1

Maximum Income of $2,147 per month

Household of 2

Maximum Income of $2,904 per month

Household of 3

Maximum Income of $3,660 per month

Household of 4

Maximum Income of $4,417 per month

Household of 5

Maximum Income of $5,174 per month

Household of 6

Maximum Income of $5,930 per month

Household of 7

Maximum Income of $6,687 per month

Household of 8

Maximum Income of $7,444 per month

Household of 8 or more

For households with more than eight people, add $757 per additional person to the maximum household income of $7,444 per month

If you are unsure you are eligible for SNAP benefits, click here to answer a few questions and determine if you qualify.

If you are ready to apply for SNAP click here.

About Emergency SNAP Benefits

Rules for SNAP eligibility have changed significantly in recent years, especially in the wake of the pandemic. To help Oregon families and communities impacted by COVID-19, the federal government has approved an emergency increase to SNAP benefits — at least $95 each month for all SNAP recipients. This increase has been renewed each month since March 2020, but will come to a close once official pandemic emergency declarations end. Visit the Oregon Department of Human Services SNAP FAQ for the most up-to-date information.

Programs like SNAP are incredibly important to ensuring we all have access to healthy food. Yet decades of experience tell us that food assistance alone isn’t enough to truly end hunger for good. That’s why we work so hard to change the policies and systems that cause hunger in our communities. Sign up for action alerts to learn how you can get involved in the fight to eliminate hunger at its roots.

It is easy to feel isolated when experiencing hunger. We are a community of millions of individuals and each of us has a unique story to share. Will you share your experience to help others know they are not alone? to help us all #EmergeStronger?

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