The Food Supplement Program (FSP, formerly food stamps, known federally as SNAP) provides monthly assistance to low-income families to help them buy food and eat healthy. The program provides a monthly sum of money on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to be used, like a debit card, at most grocery stores and other food retailers. Every $1 in Food Supplement Program benefits spent in the community generates $1.85 in local economic activity. Maryland would gain millions in federal funds by signing up eligible households – funds that would stimulate the local economy.
Across the state of Maryland, many counties have high percentages of FSP eligibility but low program participation. This is due to a variety of barriers that result from the stigma of using of public benefits, language access, low minimum benefit allotments as well as transportation. See what FSP participation looks like in your county (pdf).
People who work sometimes assume they are not eligible for this program, or that time-off from work is required to apply. This is not true. Click on the link to MyDHR to determine eligibility and apply.
What’s Happening With The Food Supplement Program In Maryland?
November 2015: Maryland’s online benefit application portal, Maryland SAIL has been replaced by myDHR. View the How to Use myDHR guide.
The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) recently launched myDHR, the department’s new online application portal which replaced Maryland SAIL earlier this month. Individuals and community-based organizations (CBOs) can use myDHR to apply for multiple services offered by the Department of Human Resources such as the Food Supplement Program (FSP) and other Family Investment Administration Programs. If you are a CBO previously trained to use Maryland SAIL, please contact Maryland Hunger Solutions for information on receiving training for myDHR. Contact Vanessa at Vpierre-Louis@mdhungersolutions.org or 410-528-0021 ext. 24. or Cecilia at Cdepman@mdhungersolutions.org for more information about myDHR or becoming a community based partner.
The Maryland Food Supplement Program Benefits Issuance Schedule has changed.
As of September 2015, the Maryland Department of Human Resources has changed the number of days they issue Food Supplement Program Benefits from 10 days to 20 days. Eligible SNAP recipients will continue to receive benefits, but the day they receive them will change. Download the new FSP issuance schedule in English and Spanish (pdf).
Funding available for food stamp outreach:
Is your nonprofit interested in or currently engaged in food stamp outreach? The State Outreach Plan is an opportunity to join an active group of organizations conducting food stamp outreach in Maryland, from distributing materials and conducting pre-screenings to assisting individuals and families with the application process. Download the following resources:
- Conference Call Slides: How to Join the State Outreach Plan (pdf)
- Food Supplement Program Outreach Guide (pdf)
- Sample Application Template for Community Partners (pdf)
- Sample Community Partner Application (pdf)
Maryland Hunger Solutions Can Help By:
- analyzing the state’s Food Supplement policy to advise stakeholders on systems improvements;
- providing Food Supplement outreach materials tailored to the clients you support;
- training your staff on how to conduct effective outreach and enroll clients in the Food Supplement Program;
- identifying referrals for assistance with applications or legal issues;
- helping arrange for a telephone interview if your clients are unable to get to a food stamp office for an in-person interview due to their work schedules or a hardship;
- assisting you or your clients with applying for the program or recertification.
We can help you apply for FSP over the phone today. Call us toll-free at 866-821-5552.
Looking to do more to fight hunger in your community? Contact Cecilia at (410) 528 0021 ext. 26 to learn about upcoming FSP outreach and volunteer opportunities.