The Food Stamp Program is a federal program that provides a monthly allotment of Food Stamp benefits issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (ATM cards). The Food Stamp Program is an entitlement program, so all eligible individuals and households can receive assistance. Food Stamp benefits may be used to purchase most foods at participating authorized (FNS) retailers.
Items that may not be purchased with food stamps include:
- pet food
- paper products
- soap products
- alcoholic beverages.
Eligible households must be given the opportunity to receive Food Stamp benefits no later than thirty days from the date of application. Individuals with special circumstances must be given an opportunity to receive Food Stamp benefits no later than seven days from the date of application.
Allowed deductions from your income include:
- child support payments
- medical bills
- fuel and utility
- day care expenses
SNAP Retailer Locator
Want to know which stores in your area accept Food Assistance Benefits? USDA has created this retailer locator to help you find retailers that welcome SNAP EBT customers. Click the "Select Location" button and enter a starting location. Click a map point to get details and directions. Click "En Español" to view the page in Spanish.
must meet the following criteria:
- Household Composition
- Citizenship/Immigration Status
- Work Requirements
Individuals residing together, but purchasing and preparing their meals separately, may participate in the Food Stamp Program as a separate household. Some individuals, whether they purchase and prepare their meals separately, must participate in the Food Stamp Program as one household.
Individuals who must participate in the Food Stamp Program as one household are:
- 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
Each member of the Food Stamp household must be an U. S. Citizen or an immigrant admitted to the United States under a specific immigration status. Citizens and eligible immigrants must also meet all other Food Stamp Program eligibility requirements to receive assistance.
Households may have $2,000 in countable resources, such as a bank accounts. Households may have $3,000 if at least one person is age 60 or older or disabled. Certain resources are not counted, such as a home and surrounding property, and the resources of people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Work First. Please note that vehicles are not countable resources.
All households must meet an income test to receive benefits. Income limits vary by household size. See the NC Division of Social Work Services income guidelines for details.
To learn more about the Food Stamp Program, please visit the United States Department of Agriculture's web site.
Many women and children in food stamp households are also eligible for food assistance through the Women,
Infant and Children (WIC) program, administered by the Buncombe County Department of Health.
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- by phone - (828) 250-5500
- in person
- by mail - PO Box 7408, Asheville, NC 28802
- by ePass Online Service
What to bring with you
- Proof of identity
- Social Security Card
- Income Verification
Application for Food Assistance (PDF)