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How to Apply for Food Stamp Benefits (FNS) in North Carolina

Answers About the NC Food and Nutrition Services Programs


In North Carolina, the Food and Nutrition Services (commonly referred to as "food stamps") program is aimed at low income families, and intended to end hunger and improve nutrition and health. The programs helps low income families and individuals purchase the food they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and makes sure that nobody goes hungry.

Here's how to apply for food stamp benefits in North Carolina, along with some frequently asked questions.

The North Carolina Department of Social Services has an eligibility test here. Once you find out you're eligible, here's a list of things you'll need to apply. That list includes identity, your address, your age, Social Security number, work status, health status, income, assets and resources and your gas and electric bills. Once you have everything lined up, fill out this form (you can also get one in person), and turn it in to your county's social services office or click here to begin the application process online. Here's the information for Mecklenburg County:

Wallace H. Kuralt Centre
301 Billingsley Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211
(704) 336-3000

Who can receive North Carolina food stamp benefits?

Here's what qualifies as a "household" as far as the NC DSS is concerned:

  • Individuals living together who purchase/prepare their food together or will do so upon receipt of food assistance
  • Spouses living together or individuals representing themselves as husband and wife to the community
  • Individuals under 22 living with a parent
  • Individuals under 18 under the parental control of an adult living in the home; or
  • Two unmarried adults living in the same home who are parents of a mutual child
  • Also, every member of a household must be a U. S. Citizen or an eligible immigrant to receive assistance.

    How much can I receive in food stamp benefits in North Carolina?
    That's based on your income. Here's a chart to help figure the amount you'll receive. Funds are issued to an "EBT" card that functions like a debit card.

    What is the income limit to receive food stamp benefits in North Carolina?
    The general rule is that a household must be considered "low income" to receive benefits. For a household with four members, the limit is usually about $2,500 per month. Also, your liquid resources (cash, checking and savings accounts) can't be more than a limit of about $2,000. These amounts are higher if your household has a disabled person, or an elderly person over 60.

    What can I purchase with food stamps in North Carolina?
    Most food items are covered, but you can't purchase alcohol, tobacco, paper products, soap or pet food.

    How soon can I receive benefits?
    Some individuals will qualify for emergency assistance and receive benefits within 7 days of applying. By law, you will either receive your benefits or notice that you're not eligible within 30 days of application.



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