The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutritional assistance program. The program is managed at the federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and requires that food vendors be licensed with FNS before accepting SNAP benefits for approved food items. In Michigan, the program is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and is referred to as the Food Assistance Program.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase any approved food item for human consumption and seeds and plants that produce food. Clients receive their benefits via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system that works like a debit card to transfer their benefits to the food retailer. In Michigan, the EBT card has a picture of the Mackinac Bridge on it and is called the SNAP Bridge Card.

Use our Food Assistance Eligibility Guide to understand what products can be purchased with each food assistance benefit offered at Michigan farmers markets.