By Lars Plougmann (Flickr: Austin downtown farmers' market) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Is it worth it to apply for food stamps when you may only get $20 in benefits? Yes, without a doubt. What you may not realize is that when you are qualified to receive food stamps (now called SNAP), you’ll also be able to access other programs that can save you money.
- If you live in Austin, you can take advantage of the city’s Customer Assistance Program where you may qualify for waivers and discounts on your utility bill. According to their site, you can reduce your utility bill an average of $650 a year!
- Get a free cell phone with 250 free minutes and 250 texts per month through the Lifeline Assistance program and Assurance Wireless. If you need more time you can get 500 voice minutes and 500 texts for just $5 per month. For $30 per month you’ll get unlimited voice, text and web. Learn more here. For a full list of providers in Texas, visit www.freegovernmentcellphones.net
- Do you find your SNAP benefits run out before the month is over? Now you can double the dollar amount that you spend on fruits and vegetables when you shop at any Sustainable Food Center farmers’ market. Your SNAP benefits are matched dollar for dollar, up to $20 each week. Find a SFC farmers market near you by visiting their website at www.sfcfarmersmarket.org/
You shouldn’t have to choose between buying groceries and paying for other bills. Your Food Bank is here to help you with the application and answer any questions or concerns you may have about food stamps. Call 1-855-366-3401 (1-855-FOOD-401) or visit www.getalonestarcard.org. Se habla español.