Food Assistance
 
Food Assistance, formerly known as Food Stamps, is a program to help people with low income and few assets to buy food for a better diet. The program is open to everyone who qualifies.

If you are eligible, the amount you get will depend on the number of people in your household and on how much monthly income is left after certain expenses (deductions) are subtracted. For Food Assistance, a household is a group of people who live together and buy food and prepare meals together.

Getting Food Assistance can free up some of your money for other things, like housing costs, medicine, or unexpected expenses. You don't have to use your Food Assistance right away. You can save it for a special day or when you need it most.

Food Assistance is given through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT).

EBT is easy - If you are approved for Food Assistance, you will get a plastic EBT card to use at the grocery store checkout to buy food. The EBT card looks like a credit or debit card. Once your eligible food items have been totaled at the cash register, you will pass your EBT card through a point-of-sale (POS) terminal in the checkout line. The cost of the food you buy is subtracted from the amount in your EBT Food Assistance account.

Food Assistance can be used to buy all types of foods that are sold to be eaten at home. Tax cannot be charged on anything bought with Food Assistance. Plants and seeds used to grow food can be purchased with Food Assistance. Food Assistance cannot be used to buy foods that are already hot when you buy them, foods meant to be eaten while you are still in the store, vitamins, medicines, dietary supplements, pet foods, alcohol, tobacco products, or any other non-food item.

Retailers that accept Food Assistance may have a sign posted that says: We Accept EBT. A retailer may also display a Questâ„¢ sign that has a grocery bag with the words "Food Stamps" on it. Retailers that may accept Food Assistance include:

  • Bakery outlets

  • Convenience stores

  • Farmers markets

  • Grocery stores

  • Health food stores

  • Meat markets

  • Route sales that sell food to you at your home

  • Specialty stores such as pizza stores that prepare items to bake at home
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