Monday, November 30, 2009

How to Apply for Food Stamps in Brooklyn

Do you find that you've cut way back on your food purchases lately because you can't afford it?

The New York Times published a story Sunday saying that food stamp use at record highs. Food stamps now help feed one in eight Americans and one in four children.

But many folks don't even realize that they're eligible for food stamps. If you are still working but your hours have been cut, you may be newly eligible.

A single person with a gross monthly income of $1,174 (that's $14,088 a year) is eligible. A family of two can gross $1,579 monthly ($18,948/year) and under; a family of three needs to gross $1,984 a month or less ($23,808/year) to be eligible -- or up to $ 36,624 a year if there's an elderly or disabled person in the family. And so it goes -- see here for larger families.

Note that other factors come into play, such as expenses. According to the state, your savings aren't held against you. The only way to be sure you're eligible is to apply.

There are eight food stamp centers in Brooklyn. Here's the list. But you may not even have to go in person if you're working, disabled or a senior.

Here is the city's online guide to applying for food stamps. (You can also call 3-1-1 to get started.) You can be working and still get food stamps. People on Social Security have an easier time getting food stamps. Here's the city's food stamp calculator to see if you're eligible. (We also tried the state's food stamp calculator and found it a bit quicker.)

If you need emergency assistance, go to a food pantry. Here's the city's phone number for pantries; here's a story about one in Brooklyn Heights.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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