New application for SNAP won’t require an email address, health dept. says
The Montana health department says it’s developing a new way to apply for the state food assistance program online that doesn’t require an email address.
MTPR first reported in September that a recent change to the state website account system locked the application for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program behind a requirement that users verify their email address. U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines prohibit states from requiring an email address to apply for food assistance online.
Jon Ebelt, a spokesperson with the state health department, told MTPR in an email the existing application system, which allows users to apply for SNAP and other programs like Medicaid, will remain unchanged. Ebelt says the new, separate application will be for food assistance only.
A representative with the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center told MTPR that food bank staff are still encountering people who struggle to verify their email address, or don’t have an email and can’t apply online.
Ebelt says the email-free SNAP application is expected to go online in early 2023.