Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Nutritional Assistance for Low-Income Families

What is SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, aims to reduce hunger and malnutrition by providing nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families. SNAP benefits can be used to buy foods from all major food groups, as well as seeds and plants that grow food. Eligible individuals and families receive their benefits monthly on a plastic electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card that works like a debit card, but can only be used for the food items covered by the SNAP program at participating retailers. Most grocery stores participate in the program.

Income and resource limits including money in bank and savings accounts must be met in order to be eligible for SNAP benefits. The program bases a family's monthly amount of SNAP benefits, or allotments, on household size. To learn more about the allotment limits per household, visit the USDA website.

SNAP and Cancer

Although a cancer diagnosis does not automatically make a person eligible for SNAP benefits, cancer patients facing financial hardships may meet the program's income and resource limits. Cancer patients could also meet SNAP's special income requirement rules for the elderly, those 60 years or older, and disabled. A patient who is unable to work due to their illness may qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and SNAP considers people who receive SSDI or SSI as disabled. To learn more about the program's special rule for the elderly and disabled, visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's SNAP information page.

You can determine if you may be eligible for SNAP benefits by using the USDA's Pre-Screening Tool.

Apply for SNAP

To apply for SNAP, visit the program's website at or apply in-person at the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services at 6 Judson St., Canton, NY 13617. Walk-in applications are taken in the office Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM. The contact person for St. Lawrence County is Karen Durham, Head Social Welfare Examiner. She can be reached at (315) 379-2155 or (800) 649-7565.