If you’re hungry now:
What help is available through food stamps (SNAP food benefits)?
If you have a low income, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as "food stamps," is a federal nutrition program that can help you stretch your food budget.
Am I eligible for SNAP?
To determine if you are eligible, you must meet certain requirements including resource and income limits.
How do I apply for SNAP?
Find the online application for your state, local office addresses, and phone numbers. You may also apply in person at a state or local office.
Is there anything else I need to know about SNAP?
You get benefits each month on a plastic electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which you use like a credit or debit card to purchase eligible food items at your local authorized SNAP grocery stores and some farmers markets.
How do I file a complaint about SNAP?
If you need to file a complaint concerning your food stamps or attempt to get food stamps, the following resources can help:
File a complaint online or by phone about a SNAP retailer. You will need to give the name and the location of the store. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
If you suspect fraud or abuse of the SNAP program, contact your state's SNAP fraud hotline or website.
Learn how to file a complaint if you believe you have experienced discrimination in the SNAP program because of age, sex, color, race, disability, religious creed, national origin, limited English proficiency, or political beliefs.
SNAP Information For Retailers
This short-term program can help you get healthy food for yourself and your young children.
What Help is Available Through the WIC Program?
Many low-income women and young children can get healthy food to add to their diet. It’s available through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). WIC also offers nutrition counseling and referrals to health, welfare, and social services.
Am I Eligible for the WIC Program?
If you’re applying for yourself, you must be at least one of the following:
Within six months of having given birth or pregnancy ending
If you’re applying for your children, they must be under five years old.
You must meet other WIC eligibility requirements based on your income, your health, and where you live.
How Do I Apply for WIC?
Contact your state or local WIC agency for an appointment. When you call, someone will tell you where to apply and what to bring with you.
Who Do I Contact for Extra Help with WIC?
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About WIC?
If your agency doesn’t have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC, it will maintain a waiting list and use a priority system to decide who will get WIC benefits first.
These programs can help you get healthy food for your children at their school, childcare center, or after-school program.
What Food Help is Available for School-Age Kids?
Kids from qualified, low-income households can get healthy meals or milk at their school or childcare center.
The Special Milk Program provides milk to kids at schools and childcare centers that don’t offer the breakfast and lunch programs.
The Summer Food Service Program offers free, healthy breakfasts and lunches to kids over summer break.
Are My Kids Eligible for Food Programs Through School?
Your kids automatically qualify for free meals or milk if:
They are foster children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court
They’re enrolled in Head Start
If your household income is no more than 130 percent of the poverty level, they should qualify for free meals.
If your income is no more than 185 percent of the poverty level, they should qualify for reduced-price meals.
The summer food service program is open to all kids and teens 18 and under at locations around the country. Find a site near you.
How Do I Apply for Food Help for School-Age Children?
At the beginning of the school year or at any time if circumstances change, submit an application from the school.
How Do I Complain/Who Do I Contact for Extra Help?
Contact your local school or school district for more information.
Two federally-sponsored programs aim to get nutritious foods to low-income seniors.
What Help is Available?
Most states offer these programs for low-income seniors:
Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program - Provides coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs. Use them at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community farms.
Am I Eligible?
If you're 60 or older, low-income, and live in an area that offers either program, you may apply for it.
How Do I Apply?
For the Commodity Supplemental Food Program:
Call 1-866-348-6479 to find your state contact
Or, find the closest commodity food distribution contact
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?
You may qualify for other programs including:
Check the program websites or your local senior community center to learn more.
You may be able to get short-term financial help for your family’s food following a disaster. If the president authorizes individual disaster assistance for your area, you may qualify for D-SNAP. D-SNAP is the disaster supplemental nutrition assistance program. D-SNAP provides one month’s worth of benefits on a debit-type card that you can use at most grocery stores. Once your state sets up a D-SNAP program, you’ll have about a week to apply. If you qualify, you’ll receive benefits within three days.
Following a disaster, you may lose work or face big expenses, like repairing your home. So even if your normal household income wouldn’t qualify you for regular SNAP (food stamp) benefits, you may qualify for D-SNAP. If you already receive SNAP, you can apply for D-SNAP if the amount you’d receive is more than you get under SNAP.
Following a disaster, your children or your entire family may also be able to get free meals through the school meals programs.
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Last Updated: June 5, 2019