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Food Stamp Benefit Increase

The Biden administration just announced some historic news – they have approved permanent updates to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that provides supplemental income to purchase food.  These updates include an increase of benefits by an average of 25%, or $36.24 per person, per month, beginning October 1st(1).  This will be the largest permanent increase to benefits in the history of the SNAP program.

The increase in benefits is the result of a reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan (2). This is the first time the purchasing power of the plan has changed since it was introduced in 1975. “The reevaluation concluded that the cost of a nutritious, practical, cost-effective diet is 21% higher than the current Thrifty Food Plan”(3).

Are You Eligible as a Student?

You must be… And meet ONE of the following:
  • Qualify under state income restrictions, for most, resources must be under $5,000
  • Age between 18 – 50
  • Physically and intellectually fit
  • Enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education
  • A citizen or legal immigrant 
  • Eligible for a state or federal work-study program
  • Employed and paid for a minimum of 80hours/month
  • Self-employed for a minimum of 80hours/month and earning at least the Federal minimum wage
  • Responsible for the care of a dependent under the age of six
  • Responsible for the care of a dependent between the ages of six – 12, without adequate childcare
  • A single parent responsible for the care of a dependent child under the age of 12
  • Receives benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho Program
  • Assigned or placed in an institution of higher education through the WIOA program, the JOBS program, JSAP program, a program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, or a state or local government program for employment and training 

How To Apply? You can apply over the phone, in person, by mail, email, or fax(4). 

  • Apply over the phone by calling 1-877-456-1233 
  • Apply in person by setting up an appointment at your closest field office
  • Apply by mail, email, or fax
    • Download and complete the application
    • Then send it in one of the following ways:
      • Email:
      • Fax: 1-866-434-8278 (toll free)
      • Mail: Self-Reliance Programs, PO Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0026
  • Be prepared to provide this information with the application:
    • ID card
    • Household income and resources
    • Housing costs
    • Current monthly expenses
    • If applicable, immigration status