By Lynne McMullen
SNAP Outreach Coordinator, AARP Foundation

Lucy Ellis is an eighty-five year old retired woman who uses the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help her afford groceries.  Lucy worked as the Head Cook at an assisted living facility while raising her family and saved diligently for her own retirement years.  In 2009, Lucy became a victim of a telephone scam and had to declare bankruptcy.

Soon, Lucy was struggling to pay for a bag of groceries.  Like 45% of Minnesotans who are eligible for the SNAP program, she did not know she could qualify for help.  Thankfully, Lucy was connected to the resources she needs.  Lucy’s financial security was compromised by a telephone scam, but for many Minnesotans living on a fixed income, even a small unanticipated expense can be very difficult.

SNAP is a federal program that helps people maintain balanced diets in lean financial times.  SNAP benefits are distributed on an EBT card, which works like a debit card and can be used at a variety of grocery stores, convenience stores, congregate dining sites and farmers’ markets. Individuals can own a house, a car, or even have a retirement account while participating in the SNAP program as long as they meet the income requirements.

If you have an income that falls below the levels listed in this chart, you may be eligible for SNAP benefits.

SNAP: Monthly Gross Income Limits

People in your Household Monthly Gross Income Limit
1 $1,536
2 $2,081
3 $2,625
4 $3,170
5 $3,714


AARP Foundation is committed to helping older Minnesotans connect with the resources they need to live a healthy lifestyle.  To learn more about the SNAP program, or to see if you qualify, visit the AARP Benefits QuickLink tool:

Lynne McMullen

SNAP Outreach Coordinator
AARP Foundation
P: 651.726.5643 | M: 651.202.1768
E: [email protected]

Lynne McMullen is an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps, a project of New York City Coalition Against Hunger serving with the AARP Foundation at AARP Minnesota.  Over the next year, she will be developing SNAP outreach efforts to help Minnesota nonprofits combat hunger among senior citizens.

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