The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants homeless teens to know what they need to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP -- also known as food stamps.
"For a lot of our unaccompanied homeless youth, these are youths not living with a parent or guardian, it’s been difficult to access the SNAP program, the food stamp program," said Barbara Ward James, director of Texas Homeless Education Office at the University of Texas. "Now the federal government has made it easier to understand the rules and regulations."
The USDA first clarified misconceptions on May 17, but today it published the information on its website.
People under 18 don’t need a photo ID to apply. They don’t need a permanent residence. And people who are homeless and under age 18 can apply by themselves.
"This is not new policy for Texas. This is the policy we have been following," said Linda Edwards Gockel, spokesperson with the Health and Human Services Commission. "We would not anticipate any kind of increase in applicants, however, we do want people to know that homeless youth are certainly qualified to receive these SNAP food benefits."
Applications are available online at YourTexasBenefits.com.