Arkansas SNAP Benefits


SNAP food benefits in Arkansas, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as it is known nationally, is a national government assistance program that is administered within the state. Food stamps benefits provide low income people with access to groceries. AR food stamps help recipients maintain good health and avoid diseases and disorders that could be caused by malnutrition. To keep with the mission of this program, certain items can and cannot be bought with food stamps. Also, SNAP benefits recipients will first need to apply for the program and be interviewed. If enrolled in the program, they will be issued an EBT benefits card. When they receive their benefits card food stamps can be used to purchase approved food items. To discover more about what items can be bought with food stamps and how to get a food stamps benefits card, please see the sections provided below.

Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Arkansas

Since SNAP food stamps benefits in Arkansas exist to provide families and individuals in need with food, not all items carried at grocery stores can be purchased with food stamps. Benefits for food stamps program can be used to buy almost all foods and (non-alcoholic) beverages at participating stores, including:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Diary
  • Meat

While many may not deem these foods healthy, candy, snacks, energy drinks and soda can still be purchased with food stamps. Arkansas SNAP benefits cover all meat items including poultry and seafood. In fact, seafood that is living at the time of purchase can be purchased with food stamps. However, food stamps assistance cannot be used to purchase livestock, including live chickens, even if the beneficiary will use these animals for food.

Items You Cannot Buy With Arkansas SNAP Benefits

Arkansas food stamps assistance does cover a wide range of items yet, many things cannot be purchased with benefits from the program. SNAP food benefits cannot be used to purchase items that do not directly support the beneficiary’s food intake or negatively affects his or her health. Therefore alcohol, tobacco products, cleaning products, paper goods, pet food, vitamins and medicines cannot be bought with food stamps. Benefit card food stamps primarily covers food that should be taken home to be prepared or eaten. As such, SNAP benefits in Arkansas cannot be used to purchase prepared meals, hot meals or any items eaten at the store.

How long does it take to receive Arkansas SNAP benefits after enrollment?

The AR SNAP enrollment process is very simple. Applicants will be notified by mail of their enrollment in the food stamps program once the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of County Operations receives an application and conducts an in-person or phone interview with the applicant. In most cases, food stamps benefits enrollment takes 30 days to process. However, applicants who are in severe need of SNAP program assistance can be enrolled as soon as seven days. To make sure the food stamps enrollment process goes as quickly as possible, applicants should submit their application as soon as they can. Enrolled food stamps beneficiaries will receive a food stamps benefit card called an EBT card.

Arkansas EBT Card Overview

An EBT card or an Electronic Benefit Transfer card is how food stamps recipients can receive their government benefits. This food stamps card works just like a debit card and can be used at approved grocery stores and farmers markets across the state. Each month, a predetermined amount of benefits is deposited into the enrollee’s account. If a SNAP food benefits enrollee uses all of the benefits on his or her EBT card, he or she will have to wait until the next month for it to be refilled. EBT card balances and locations of approved vendors can be found online. Those enrolled in the Arkansas Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA) can use the same EBT card for both SNAP and TEA benefits. However, TEA and SNAP beneficiaries cannot use their benefits card at ATMs inside locations that sell alcohol, adult entertainment or gambling entertainment.

Determining Your Arkansas SNAP Benefit Amount

Not every SNAP food stamps enrollee in Arkansas will receive the same amount of benefits each month. There are several factors that determine how much benefits from the food stamps program each person or family will receive. The most important factor is how much money the food stamps beneficiaries make as well as the amount of assets they have. Someone who ishas no incomewill receive more food stamps benefits versus someone who makes low wages. Also, SNAP benefits largely vary between the amount of family members living in a household. An adult who does not have children will receive less food stamps benefits than a mother of three. The ability to work will also affect enrollment in the program. All non-exempt adults must work at least 20 hours a week to continue to be enrolled in the food stamps program. The amount of AR food stamps assistance an enrollee may also vary if the enrollee is disabled or elderly.

What Are Food Stamps?

Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal- and state-funded program that provides low-income Americans with food assistance benefits. Eligible individuals and families can use their state-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which are regularly replenished with a set amount of benefits, to purchase approved food items. Learn more about the SNAP program and how you can start receiving benefits here.

Who Is Eligible to Receive Food Stamp Benefits?

Before you can begin obtaining food items with state SNAP benefits, you must apply to the program and prove that you are eligible. All applicants are subject to various requirements established by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. These involve household income limits, resource limits, work requirements and more. To find out if you qualify for SNAP benefits, download our guide today.