Refugee Resource Center

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

What is SNAP?

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a domestic hunger safety net that provides nutritional assistance to low-income individuals and families. It cannot be used for nonfood items, alcohol, or tobacco.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility depends on income (including benefits), the number of people in the household, and other resources such as bank accounts and cash).

How do I apply?

Contact your local SNAP office at:

  • Call SNAP's hotline 211 or 877-541-7905 or apply online here.

How do I use food stamps?

Your caseworker at RST or Caritas will help you apply for food stamps (SNAP) and maybe also for WIC if your family has a pregnant woman or small children.

Each month you will get a credit to your account that you can spend on food. The amount you get will change over time. Ask your caseworker to explain how this works and how much credit you will get. Ask your caseworker to write this on a piece of paper so you will remember.

You will get a plastic card for food stamps (SNAP) called the Lone Star Card. If you get WIC, you will get a second card. You must choose a PIN (personal identification number) for each card. You must enter this number when you pay with these cards. This keeps other people from using your card. MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER THE NUMBER BUT DO NOT WRITE IT ON THE CARD.

When you pay for your items, you use these cards. The cards will only pay for some of the food you are buying, like milk, vegetables and meat. You have to pay for the other items yourself, like shampoo, toilet paper, and toothpaste.

The amount of money you get each month is credited to your card. This amount of money will change based on your salary and your rent. If your salary goes up or your rent goes down, you may get less money.

What if I lose my SNAP card?

Try hard not to lose these cards. Treat them like you treat money. If you lose the SNAP Lone Star Card, or if it gets stolen or you forget your PIN, call 800-777-7328 as soon as you can so no one else can use your card. If you lose your WIC card, call 800-942-3678.

The bottom of the receipt the cashier gives you will show your BALANCE — how much you can spend until more money is added to your account.

How do I use a WIC card?

The WIC office will give you a list of items you can get once a month. Use the list to shop. At HEB, all of the WIC items will have a sign on them.

When you pay for your food, first put your WIC items at the front and tell the cashier that you have WIC food items. Use your WIC card and PIN number to pay for WIC food. Then use your food stamp card, money, debit card, pay card or check to pay for the rest.

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