Eligibility requirements

The SNAP-Ed Guiding Principles identify the target audience for SNAP-Ed as SNAP participants and low-income individuals eligible to receive SNAP or other means-tested Federal assistance program benefits. Per the USDA SNAP-Ed Guidance, individuals readily identifiable as members of the target audience include: “persons referred to classes by the local DHHS office; persons reached through direct marketing to SNAP participants; parents ineligible for SNAP who receive SNAP benefits on behalf of their children; and SNAP participants in a SNAP Job Readiness Training Program. Persons participating in Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) also are eligible for SNAP-Ed.”

SNAP-Ed providers (Nutrition Educators) may use the following measures, as taken from the USDA SNAP-Ed Guidance, in order to identify additional persons appropriate for the target audience:

  1. Income-based: Persons eligible for other means-tested Federal assistance programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Special Supplemental Program for Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Persons typically not eligible for SNAP such as incarcerated persons, residents of nursing homes, boards or college/university students are ineligible for SNAP-Ed.
  2. Location-based: Persons at food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, public housing, and SNAP/TANF job readiness program sites, and other such sites
  3. Location/Venues: Persons at venues when it can be documented that the location/venue serves generally low-income persons where at least 50 percent of persons have gross incomes at or below 185 percent of poverty guidelines/thresholds. This would include, for example, persons residing in schools or childcare centers located in census tract areas or other defined areas where at least 50 percent of persons have gross incomes that are equal to or less than 185 percent of the poverty threshold or children in schools where at least 50 percent of children receive free and reduced price
  4. Eligible Grocery Stores: Persons shopping in grocery stores when the store has been documented to redeem average monthly SNAP benefits of $50,000 or more, or persons shopping in grocery stores located in census tracts where at least 50 percent of persons have gross incomes that are equal to or less than 185 percent of the poverty threshold.
Family Size185% of the Federal
Poverty Guidelines

(Annual Income)*
185% of the Federal
Poverty Guidelines

(Monthly Income)*



  1. Supplemental Nutrition Education Program Guidance FY 2016 (http://snap.nal.usda.gov/snap/Guidance/)
  2. Food Research and Action Center – 2015 Summer Food Mapper (http://www.fairdata2000.com/SummerFood/)
  3. Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, Free & Reduced Lunch data(http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/data_tab.html) 8.19.16