Food Assistance

Food Assistance

Struggling To Put Healthy Food On Your Table? TCHNetwork Can Help You Enroll In SNAP

Request Assistance

What Is SNAP?

SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is the largest program working to fight hunger in America. SNAP is a federal program that helps millions of low-income Americans, including those who have hit temporary hard times, put food on the table. By providing funds through an electronic debit card (EBT) card, individuals are able to purchase nutritious groceries at authorized grocers and retailers nationwide to stay hunger-free.

Why Is SNAP Important?

SNAP provides timely benefits to help people in need to access healthy food. SNAP helps people get back on their feet and in 2019, 1 in 13 Coloradoans utilized the SNAP benefit. Additionally, SNAP helps to ensure that children are given a fair chance at healthy adulthood, that seniors age with dignity and that family can care for themselves. SNAP is absolutely critical to making sure no one in America goes hungry.

Who Is Eligible To Receive SNAP Benefits?

SNAP is targeted toward our most at-risk citizens, predominantly serving households with children, elderly or disabled members. Nearly half of all SNAP participants are children. 

Eligibility and benefit amount will depend on factors like income, expenses, household resources, and number of individuals in the household. Generally, a household may be eligible if their household income is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.   

The table below shows a household’s maximum monthly pre-tax income depending on household size.  For example, a household of 3 may be eligible for SNAP if their monthly income before taxes is $4,054 or less.  

Household SizeMonthly Pre-Tax Income LimitMonthly Maximum SNAP Benefit 
Effective as of 2/2024

Eligibility for Immigrant Households 

Many immigrant families can use SNAP to buy the food they need. You may qualify for SNAP if you are within income limits and if you or someone else in your household are in one of the following categories:   

  • A naturalized U.S citizen  
  • A “humanitarian immigrant” (which includes refugees, asylees, and survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes);   
  • A ‘special immigrant’ visa holder  
  • Certain Native Americans born outside of the US  
  • A lawful permanent resident (green card holder) with residency for 5+ years, a military connection, 40 qualifying work quarters, a disability, or under age 18.   

Waiting period for Lawful Permanent Residents/Green Card Holders  

If you are a lawful permanent resident/green card holder, you may be surprised to learn that you may need to wait five years after receiving your residency/green card to be eligible for SNAP. Unfortunately, this arbitrary and harmful requirement makes it harder for immigrant households to access the food resources they need. Hunger Free Colorado is working to get rid of this waiting period.  To learn more about our federal advocacy, click here.   

While most lawful permanent residents need to wait five years before they can access SNAP, there are some exceptions. For example, lawful permanent residents are not subject to the 5-year waiting period if they:   

  • Have a military connection (veteran, on active duty, or spouse or child of a veteran or active-duty service member)   
  • Receive government payments for disability or blindness   
  • Are children under the age of 18  
  • Have sufficient work history (10 years or 40 qualifying work quarters). Your work history can come from a combination of your work, the work of a spouse if you are still married, or the work of your parents before you turned 18  

Mixed-Status Households  

A mixed-status household has members of varying documentation status, such as a combination of citizen, non-citizen, undocumented, or permanent resident parents and children. In a mixed-status household, it is common for some members to be eligible for SNAP while others are not.   

If you do not have documented immigration status, you will not be able to apply for yourself; however, you may be able to apply for other eligible household members. Many children of non-citizen parents are eligible for benefits. If your children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, you can apply for SNAP on their behalf even if you do not have documented or qualifying immigration status.   

If you apply on behalf of your children or other household members, you will still need to provide the name, date of birth, and monthly income information for everyone in the household to help the county determine income eligibility. But you will only need to provide a social security number and immigration status for the household members that you select when you are requesting benefits. You do not need to disclose the immigration status of the individuals in your household who are not seeking benefits. You should not be asked about the immigration status of household members for whom you are not requesting benefits during your county interview for SNAP. Still, if you are, you can say, “I am not requesting benefits for myself/that person.”   

Non-immigrants (those on student, visitor, or diplomatic visas) are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits but may also apply on behalf of other eligible household members.  

Will accessing SNAP affect my immigration status?   

No. Applying for SNAP as an immigrant to the U.S. can feel scary because there is a lot of misinformation about the impact of SNAP on immigration status.   But the truth is, applying for SNAP (for yourself or on behalf of eligible family members) will NOT hurt your immigration status now or in the future. SNAP is not considered part of the public charge rule. SNAP enrollment will NOT affect your ability to remain in the United States, get a green card/permanent resident status, keep your green card/permanent resident status, or become a U.S. citizen.   

You can learn more about SNAP, immigration status, and public charge by clicking  here. 

Apply For SNAP Today

Please contact one of our local expert navigators, located in Ouray, San Miguel, Delta, and Montrose counties, to schedule an appointment to help you apply or email us.

Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray, Norwood, WestEnd, Telluride
Cecilia Castro  970-417-7143 (habla español)

Ali Johnson 970-812-7298
Kimberly Meraz   970-765-8866 (habla español)

Translate »