Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program (FSP), is a federal aid or public assistance program. Its objective is to offer nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families.
SNAP benefits cost $70.9 billion in the fiscal year 2016 and supplied roughly 44.2 million Americans with an average of $125.51 for each person per month in food assistance. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), while the benefits are distributed by each state’s Division of Social Services.
The idea for the first FSP is credited to various people, most notably Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and Milo Perkins who became the program’s first administrator in 1939. The Food Stamps Program was initiated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures.
For every $1 worth of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food, while the blue stamps could be used to buy food determined by the Department to be surplus. Over the next four years, the benefits reached approximately 20 million people at a total cost of $262 million.
Following the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, households can use SNAP benefits to buy edible items such as bread and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry as well as dairy products.
Individuals and households eligible for SNAP can also qualify for a Free LifeLine Phone. Administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Lifeline is a public assistance program designed with an aim to make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers.
The FCC is a government organization that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
The program operates by providing subscribers with a discount on monthly telephone service. It also provides a free phone to all eligible customers. The discounts enable low-income consumers to get access to basic facilities such as education, safety, and shelter as well as employment and other income opportunities. Lifeline is available to eligible low-income subscribers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.
Apart from SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veteran’s and Survivor’s Pension Benefit are the other assistance programs that qualify a participant for the Lifeline benefits. Moreover, subscribers can also qualify if they have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines; consequently, low-income subscribers with proof of eligibility are qualified to enroll. However, FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household.
Individuals can get the Lifeline benefits that include a free phone from TAG Mobile, one of the leading providers of Lifeline program with nationwide coverage. TAG Mobile provides all eligible subscribers from all the states, except California, with the following benefits:
• 1000 FREE minutes every month
• Unlimited global messaging every month
• 1GB FREE data every month
The eligible subscribers from California get special benefits from TAG Mobile under the California Freedom Plan, which includes:
• FREE Smartphone*
• Free Unlimited Talk
• Free Unlimited Global Text
• Free Data – First 3 months 500MB LTE, 4th Month onwards 1GB (after 500MB LTE, data is at 3G)
To enroll, subscribers can log on to www.tagmobile.com and follow the 3-minutes signup process, or simply walk up to the nearest TAG Mobile agent along with their proof of eligibility documents.