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The number of South Carolinians receiving public assistance continues to decrease. In August 2017, 703,023 South Carolina residents received SNAP benefits; the lowest since 2009. After peaking in December 2012 at over 879,000, the number of SNAP recipients has fallen 20 percent.
On average, 45 percent of SNAP recipients are children under the age of 18. Approximately 27 percent of adult SNAP recipients are age 55 or older (15 percent of total SNAP population).
The income limit for SNAP is approximately 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). For example, a family of three whose income is $26,556 per year ($2,213 per month) or less may qualify for benefits. A single person who earns $15,684 per year ($1,307/month) or less may qualify for SNAP.
The average monthly SNAP benefit in South Carolina is $261.
Households, individuals, seniors and the homeless may all be eligible for SNAP beneﬁts. People who are working and need help to stretch their income to purchase food may also be eligible for SNAP beneﬁts as well as those receiving Social Security beneﬁts, child support or unemployment.
DSS administers the SNAP program through DSS county ofﬁces. Eligibility caseworkers interview applicants and approve those who qualify to receive the food beneﬁt.
Qualiﬁed applicants for the SNAP program begin receiving SNAP beneﬁts within 30 days of their application. Some families and individuals need expedited beneﬁts, which begin within seven days of application.
The annual distribution of farmer’s market happens every Spring. The Appalachia Area Agency on Aging has partnered with agencies in Greenville, Pickens, Cherokee, and Spartanburg Counties to ensure seniors 60 and older with a limited income receive these vouchers to use at their local farmers markets. The SFMNP Program is intended to provide fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables to eligible seniors and to help support small farms in South Carolina. Each voucher recipient receives five $5 checks totaling $25 which may be used at participating farmers markets throughout the upstate until October 15. Click here for a list of participating markets.
These organizations deliver hot midday meals to people who are home-bound and unable to prepare their own nutritious meals. Persons living outside of Cherokee and Oconee counties are mostly served by local Meals on Wheels/Mobile Meals. They can be contacted as follows:
Anderson County Meals on Wheels
105 South Fant Street
Cherokee Meals on Wheels
403 West Montgomery Street
Greenville Meals on Wheels
15 Oregon Street
Greer Mobile Meals
738 South Line Street Extension
Pickens County Meals on Wheels
349 Edgemont Avenue
Clemson Meals on Wheels
397 College Avenue
Mobile Meals of Spartanburg
419 East Main Street
The Social Security Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services(DSS), has a project called the South Carolina Combined Application Project (SCCAP). SCCAP is a program where you no longer have to apply at a DSS office in order to receive SNAP benefits. You are eligible for SNAP benefits if you receive SSI. You will receive a set amount of SNAP benefits each month (with annual cost-of-living adjustments) and may receive them as long as you continue to receive SSI and your household living arrangement remains the same.
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