How to Apply For Food Stamps via WIC, Food Stamps, and TANF

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Step 1: Check Your Eligibility!

Go to the USDA FNS website,, before you go down to your local Eligibility office, to make sure you are eligible. This will mostly depend on your income. It would be wise to have some idea of your standing before you make the trip. ** If you live in a disaster area you may also qualify you for one or more of the programs.

Step2 : Make An Appointment!

Locate the closest Eligibility Services office in your state. Call them and make an appointment. While you are on the phone , ask them what documentation you will need to bring with you. There are usually many paperwork requirements and if you don’t have the necessary document you will probably have to make another trip. You can find your state’s hotline phone number on the FNS Contact Information website listed in step 1.

Step3: Gather Your Documents!

Gather your latest utility bills, rent bill, income statement (if any), and Social Security card and any other paperwork they told you needed in step 2.

Step4 : Go To Your Appointment!

Be prepared to spend at least a few hours in the office. There will be several forms to complete and there may be several different interviews. Take drinks and snacks with you, as well as something to do. If you take a child, be sure to bring all necessary child care items.

Step5 : Get Your Finger Print!

Many states now use finger imaging to help prevent identity theft and fraud. They will not share this information with any other agencies unless fraud is indicated. Typically this is done with a scanner and only takes a couple of minutes.

Step6 : Keep a Positive Attitude!

Do not get discouraged because you are applying for help. The economy is difficult right now and many people are finding themselves in a tight economic spot. Continue searching for jobs and being positive!

Step7 : Keep Your Card In A Safe Place

Take care of your card once you are approved. There are people that will steal your card and it takes time to replace it.


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