If you’re like me, you probably have store reward cards for most of the grocery store chains near your home, to help stretch your grocery dollars through weekly sales and checkout-lane coupons. When I fill out an application for a grocery store reward card, here’s what is important to me: How far is a store from my home? Are their prices reasonable? Do they have an adequate selection of the foods that I usually buy?
Similarly, you might want to check out which of your neighborhood stores accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits before completing an application. In May 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched their SNAP Retailer Locator – an interactive map that lets you key in your own street address then request a list of the nearest 10, 25 or 50 retailers that accept SNAP benefits. The locator gives you store names and addresses; and, the distances from your home to each one. More importantly, chain and independent retailers accept SNAP benefits; and, only one card (called an Electronic Benefit Transfer card, or EBT card) is used for food purchases at all of these stores.
I challenge you to try out this interactive map for your own location. Did you find stores that you were unaware of? Did you find that you needed to look for 25 or 50 retailers to find the types of stores you prefer to shop at?
USDA’s SNAP Retailer Locator logo