How to Set Up an Income-Based Membership at the YMCA Using Your SNAP EBT Card

Cropped shot of women working out with exercise bikes in a exercising class at the gym.
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As a non-profit organization, the YMCA offers fitness facilities, a pool, classes, and even inexpensive summer day camps for kids at certain locations. YMCA membership is also relatively affordable compared to many competing gyms and fitness centers. But families who qualify for SNAP EBT or EBT Cash benefits may also qualify for a discounted YMCA membership or financial assistance of other kinds. Plus, you may be able to use your EBT Cash benefits to pay for your YMCA membership, as well as classes and YMCA-based childcare programs.

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Guidelines, rules, and how to apply may vary based on your local Y. For instance, the YMCA of Greater New York offers a financial assistance program with scholarships granted based on the applicants’ demonstrated need due to household income. Families who qualify for SNAP EBT or EBT benefits may also qualify for this program.

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The YMCA of Greater Brandywine in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on the other hand, also offers income-based membership rates for families with a gross household income under $80,000, and to individuals with a gross income under $50,000. To apply, you will need a copy of last year’s federal tax return, two recent pay stubs or social security/disability checks, and a government-issued ID. You will also require the membership application form, which you can download from the YMCA website.

Most other regional YMCA organizations offer similar needs-based programs. You can check your local YMCA website for their programs, discounts and scholarship offerings.

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If you’re ready to get back to working out in a gym after the pandemic — or are starting to think about summer camp opportunities for your kids — consider your local YMCA.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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