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Food Assistance

Applying for benefits graphic.

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Appointment Procedure

Come See Us! We can quickly help you in person.

  • 40 Coxe Avenue, Downtown Asheville (Across from the Bus Station)

Helpful Items to Bring

Listed below are things you may be asked to provide or may be needed to determine your eligibility for the Food Nutrition Program. If you do not have any of this information you may still complete an application and interview for services:


  • Driver's License
  • Work/School/Health Benefit ID
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Birth Certificate


  • Voter Registration/Library Card
  • Utility Bill
  • Rent/Mortgage receipt
  • Mail received at your address

Earned Income:

  • Check stubs
  • Letter or note from your Employer
  • Employee W-2
  • Income Tax Forms
  • Self-employment Bookkeeping Records

Unearned Income (Social Security, Veterans benefits, Child Support, Retirement):

  • Bank Statement
  • Benefit Award Letter/Benefit Payment Check
  • Child Support Agreement
  • Income Tax Forms


  • Rent or Lease Agreement
  • Mortgage/Property Tax/Homeowner's Insurance Statement
  • Day Care receipts
  • Medical Expense receipts

Work Requirements

The Employment and Training Program is designed to provide participants with opportunities to search for employment and improve skills that can assist with finding a career and /or financial independence.

  • Meet with an Employment representative that can explain the program and complete an employability assessment.
  • Help to align with the component activity that best meets your needs.
  • Referrals to available Employment and Training service providers.
  • Provide counseling and coaching for finding employment and serve as the conduit to other community services.
  • Follow-up with participants to regularly assess progress and identify barriers.
  • All ages from 16-59 are required to be registered for work unless an exemption is met.
  • Participation in the Employment and Training services are voluntary at this time.

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:

  • tobacco
  • 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.

Depending on your household circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more of the following deductions from your income:

  • child support payments
  • medical bills
  • rent
  • 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.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Household Composition
  • Citizenship/Immigration Status
  • Work Requirements
  • Resources
  • Income

Household Composition

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

Citizenship/Immigration Status

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.

You can also...

  • Call us at (828) 250-5500
  • Visit us at 40 Coxe Ave.
  • By mail - PO Box 7408, Asheville, NC 28802

Application for Food Assistance (PDF)