Seniors may be eligible for 'SNAP' aid
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Sun., Oct. 9, 2011
When you go shopping in the supermarket, as many as seven out of 10 of your fellow shoppers are probably using some form of assistance to make their food purchases. Sherry Suber, a state outreach advocate with End Hunger Connecticut, said that is the new norm, given today’s economic climate. More than 208,000 Connecticut households are enrolled in the federally-funded program, according to the state Department of Social Services website.
On Oct. 6, the Glastonbury Senior Center hosted a presentation by Suber, who spoke about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), saying that many seniors are eligible for the program, but may not realize it. “SNAP is not for poor people, or people on welfare. It is for people who just need a little extra help,” Suber said, adding that many seniors who are living on Social Security are having difficulty meeting their weekly shopping bills.
“It’s not a handout,” she said. ”All of this is your tax dollars from all the years you’ve been working. It’s something you’ve been working for all along.”
Eligibility requirements are based on income, and the maximum gross monthly income is $1,600. Unlike some other programs, SNAP does not include savings accounts or owned property values when making the consideration. All that is needed, Suber said, is a photo ID, a rent or mortgage statement, and utility bills. “People think that if you own a home, you can’t apply,” Suber said.
Recently, a special arm of the program, called “Disaster SNAP” or “D-SNAP,” aided victims of tropical storm Irene. Suber said more than 3,000 people who were not already receiving benefits were helped by that specific program.
Suber told seniors that she is the “person who makes it easy for you to apply,” and gave her information so that she can be easily contacted to aid in the process, if needed. She added that she will return to the Riverfront Community Center at a later date to assist, in person.