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From a Basic Food recipient:
"Thank you so much for the food stamp card. It has helped me so much...This helps me buy things I have not been able to buy for a long time, like greens and fresh fruit."
-Anna R., Colfax, WA

Basic Food/SNAP

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called Basic Food in Washington, helps low income people make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Participating in Basic Food has other benefits including:

Am I eligible? How much would I get each month

Eligibility for Basic Food is based on your monthly income (before taxes) and your household size. We also look at your regular expenses, such as rent and child care, to determine what your benefits will be.

You can estimate your benefits with our Benefit Estimator. This is only an estimate. There may be other factors that affect your eligibility.

family shopping

Income Limits

Your household can have income up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and be eligible for Basic Food. Asset limits also don't apply to households with total monthly income under this limit.

Household SizeMonthly Income
1 $2,010
2 $2,707
3 $3,403
4 $4,100
5 $4,797

What Can I Buy With Basic Food?

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service sets rules on what SNAP / Basic Food benefits can be used for.

Basic Food benefits can be used to buy:Basic Food benefits cannot be:
  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cheese, milk and other dairy products
  • Meats, fish, poultry and eggs
  • Most other food items that are not prepared hot foods
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for your household
  • Exchanged for cash
  • Used by and for people who are not in your household
  • Used to buy:
    • Food in restaurants
    • Hot Foods
    • Food that will be eaten in the store
    • Soaps, paper products
    • Household supplies
    • Vitamins or medicines
    • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco

The Agency follows a policy of non-discrimination. There are more details here.