Paper Food Stamps set to expire June 17
by Wyoming Department of Family Services
May 27, 2009
Paper food stamps are set to expire with the passage of a federal law going into effect June 17, according to a news release from the Wyoming Department of Family Services.
An electronic benefits transfer system called the Wyoming Card has all but replaced the use of paper food stamps since Wyoming adopted the debit-card method nearly two years ago, easing opportunities for low-income people to buy nutritious food regularly.
After June 17, paper food stamps will be worthless and the Wyoming Card will be the only way for the stateís 28,000 food stamp recipients to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also called SNAP.
"We have few people in Wyoming who still use the paper stamps, and Iím glad to see this easy-to-use technology get into the hands of everyone who needs help defraying the costs of nutritious food," said DFS Economic Assistance Administrator Heather Babbitt.
The Wyoming Card is more efficient at checkout as well as more discreet and secure. The Wyoming Card uses the same debit card machine used by debit card shoppers. Because the Wyoming card carries a SNAPs balance and debits purchases electronically, there is less hassle while shopping and at checkout, compared with paper food stamps for which shoppers could only be given back change of 99 cents or less. The Wyoming Card also is more secure than paper food stamps because each participant uses a personal identification number at checkout.
"For now, grocers are required to accept paper food stamps from shoppers, but after June 17, they wonít be able to do so," Babbitt said. "Clients and grocers should call their local DFS office if they have any questions."
Information about the change also is found online at www.fns.usda.gov/snap.