COVID-19 SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Updates
Need help applying for SNAP or have questions? Request a follow up from our outreach team:
Please note that emailing and texting are the fastest way to receive service due to our current high call volume.
Changes to the SNAP Process
The current Public Health Emergency in Alaska has impacted Alaska in unprecedented ways. Many Alaskans are facing job loss and economic uncertainty into the future with no end in sight. SNAP (Food Stamps) is here to provide vital support to Alaskans in this time of crisis to ensure that those in need can continue to provide food for their families and themselves.
Due to the nature of this emergency, the State of Alaska has made changes to both the eligibility requirements of the SNAP Program and to the process of submitting and processing SNAP Applications. This page will be updated as changes are made to be a resource about the most up to date changes to the SNAP Program in Alaska.
Updates as of 8/31/21 (Please check back for more updates as they become available):
For those applying for SNAP, interviews are currently being waived through the end of December.
SNAP recipients who need to recertify through December 2021 should receive an automatic recertification for six months. As always, if you have changes to your household or income, you will need to report those changes to the Division of Public Assistance.
The 15% increase in SNAP benefits allotted by Congress due to the pandemic will expire on September 30, 2021. However, USDA has announced an increase to the Thrifty Food Plan, which will increase SNAP benefits permanently by an average of 21% starting October 1, 2021. SNAP households should see a roughly 6-7% increase in benefits on average in October.
Emergency Allotments continue, and will continue to be a separate disbursement than regular monthly benefits that arrive on the first of the month. These are anticipated to continue through December, and will be contingent on the continuation of a public health emergency.
Through Emergency Allotments, each SNAP household will receive the maximum allowable benefit for their household size regardless of the income being counted. The additional benefits started to be issued as supplements beginning the week of April 13, 2020, and will continue as long as there are public health declarations on the state and national levels. To see the maximum benefit levels by household, click here.
Division of Public Assistance Closures: DPA offices are no longer open to the public. All business is to be conducted over the phone. There will be phones provided in the office for those who do not have access to phones. Office locations will still distribute paper applications and receive applications via drop-box. All interviews for the SNAP Program are to be held over the phone.
Links and Resources:
- Download and Print the GEN 50C Application for SNAP and other benefits. Alaska does not have an online application.
- Download our Application Process Guide to understand how COVID-19 has affected DPA office procedures, where to submit your completed application, and what to expect during the application process.
- Read our step-by-step instructions on How to Fill out a SNAP Application
- Here is a List of DPA Offices where you can submit your application, once it is completed.
- Need Application Assistance or Have a Question? Contact the SNAP Outreach Team:
- Link to 211: Alaska 211 is your one-stop resource for finding help in your community. It’s free, confidential, and available in almost any language.
- For our Partners, here is a link to our latest outreach flyer for you to share with your clients and at your distribution site
The new food stamps
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the new name for food stamps. Participating households receive money every month on a “Quest” debit card that can be used for groceries. Food Bank of Alaska’s SNAP Outreach team works in communities statewide to help Alaskans complete the Public Assistance application, which includes SNAP, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance, Adult Public Assistance, and General Relief. We are dedicated to walking alongside families and individuals step-by-step through the application process to help people get the support they need.
Households may qualify for SNAP based on their monthly income and assets. The application process includes a paper application and a phone interview. Learn at www.alaskasnap.com
Why Food Bank of Alaska does SNAP outreach
Despite SNAP’s potential as a supplement to food budgets for struggling families, more than a quarter of Alaskans who potentially qualify don’t actually claim their benefits. This may be due to a variety of factors including lack of time and transportation, limited English proficiency, physical and cognitive impairments, and stigma about requesting help. The Food Bank of Alaska’s SNAP Outreach team works statewide to alleviate these barriers, meeting people where they gather – at food pantries, shelters, grocery stores, libraries, and community events.
SNAP is a powerful resource in the fight against hunger and has the potential to feed more families in Alaska than all other food programs combined. In FY14 alone, SNAP brought more than $174 million of food assistance benefits into Alaska – stretching clients’ food budgets, reinforcing the charitable food system, and strengthening the local economy.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. View our full nondisclosure statement.