Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Florida are administered by the state's Department of Children and Families Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency (ESS), which is responsible for determining SNAP eligibility and setting the schedule for when monthly benefits are disbursed.
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Florida uses a staggered disbursement system throughout the month, based on the last two digits of your SNAP case number. The October 2022 schedule follows the same formula as any other month.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. Although it is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is administered at the state level.
If you are approved for SNAP benefits, you will be mailed a reloadable Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and use it to pay for food instead of food stamps. Benefits will be loaded onto it every month. For more information, go to Florida's Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card site.
You can use the EBT card to purchase the following food items:
Fruits and vegetables
Meat, poultry and fish
Breads and cereals
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
Among the items you can't buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics. In Florida, you also can't use SNAP to purchase food that is served hot at the point of sale because it is not among the states that operate a Restaurant Meals Program through SNAP.
SNAP eligibility rules and benefit levels are mostly set at the federal level, though states have flexibility to tailor aspects of the program. In Florida, you are ineligible for SNAP if you are convicted of drug trafficking; running away from a felony warrant; purposely breaking Food Assistance Program rules; or are a non-citizen without a qualified status. In some cases, you're also ineligible if you are a student who attends an institution of higher education at least half time.
Another food assistance program in Florida is Fresh Access Bucks (FAB), an initiative of Feeding Florida. FAB is a USDA-funded statewide nutrition incentive program that encourages SNAP recipients to redeem their benefits at farmers' markets, produce stands, mobile markets and community grocery outlets to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Find out more about Fresh Access Bucks here.
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Here are Florida's SNAP payment dates for October 2022:
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Food Stamps Schedule: Florida SNAP EBT Benefits for October 2022