- Health & Human Services
- SOCIAL SERVICES
- Food & Nutrition
Food & Nutrition
Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps) is for low-income families to assist them in affording nutritional foods. You receive the assistance by obtaining Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards).
Three ways to apply for Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps):
- Apply online with ePASS
- Apply in person at Richmond County Department of Social Services (DSS); Please fill out the application ahead of time
- Fill out a paper application and mail it to or drop it off at DSS
Call 910-997-8422 if one of these methods will not work for you.
Watch the video on how to apply online with ePass.
- Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
- Replacement/Supplement Request
- Nutrition Education
- Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that replaced paper food stamps with a plastic card that is similar to a credit or bank card. Recipients use EBT cards to access FNS benefits. EBT cards can be used at any USDA authorized retailer. Most major grocery stores are USDA authorized retailers.
How does EBT work?
Food and Nutrition Services recipients apply for their benefits by filling out a form at their local DSS office or online with ePass. Once benefits have been determined, an account is established in the recipeint's name, and benefits are deposited electronically in the account each month. the reciepient recieves a plastic card, like a bank card and a personal identification number (PIN) is assigned or chosen by the recipient that gives access to the account.
Recipients may change the PIN at any time. Training is available to recipients who have any problems accessing the system.
When paying for groceries, the recipient's card is run through the electronic reader, and the recipient enters the PIN to access the account. If there are benefits in the account, the recipient's account is debited for the amount of the purchase. The store receipt shows the amount of benefits remaining in the recipient's account.
EBT Issuance Information
Your EBT benefits will be available on the same day each month according to the last digit of your social security number, even if that day is on weekend or holiday.
|If your SSN ends in:||Your benefits will be available after 6 a.m. on the:|
|1||3rd day of every month|
|2||5th day of every month|
|3||7th day of every month|
|4||9th day of every month|
|5||11th day of every month|
|6||13th day of every month|
|7||15th day of every month|
|8||17th day of every month|
|9||19th day of every month|
|0||21st day of every month|
Benefits are available on the 3rd day of every month if you do not have a Social Security Number.
Remember to check your balance before you shop.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if my card is lost or stolen?
Immediately report it by calling 1-888-622-7328.
How do I change my PIN?
To change your PIN, call the toll-free number on the back of your EBT card. Follow the automated instructions to change the PIN. Assistance is available from a customer service representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What if I forgot my PIN?
If you forget your PIN, you must call 1-888-622-7328 to get a new PIN. If you try to use the wrong PIN four times in a row, you will be required to select a new PIN or wait until after 12:01 a.m. the next day to try again.
How can I check my balance?
There are several ways to check FNS balances 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using your card number, you can:
- Call 1-888-622-7328.
- Visit www.ebtedge.com. Click on More Information under EBT Cardholders.
- Download the ebtEDGE mobile app. The app is available as a free download on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Eligibility workers determine which income limit applies to your household.
Income: You may be eligible for Food and Nutrition Services if your total income falls below the appropriate gross income limits for your household size.
|HOUSEHOLD SIZE||130% MAXIMUM GROSS INCOME LIMIT||200% MAXIMUM GROSS INCOME LIMIT||MAXIMUM BENEFIT ALLOTMENT|
|Each Additional Member||(+479)||(+738)||(+146)|
Household Composition: Some individuals must participate in Food and Nutrition Services as one household even though they purchase and prepare their meals separately. Individuals who must participate as one household include:
- Individuals living together who purchase/prepare their food together
- Spouses living together or individuals representing themselves as a married couple
- Individuals under the age of 22 living with a parent
- Individuals under 18 under the parental control of an adult living in the home
- Two unmarried adults living in the same home who are parents of a mutual child
Citizenship/Immigration Status: All individuals receiving Food and Nutrition benefits must be US citizens or immigrants admitted to the United States under a specific immigration status.
Resources: Some households may be subject to a resource test.
- Households may have $2,250 in countable resources
- Households may have $3,500 if at least one person is age 60 or older or disabled
- Certain resources are not counted, such as homes, buildings and land
Replacement/Supplement Request Form
If you are a current North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services recipient or Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient that has suffered a food loss due to a power outage or flooding from Hurricane Isaias, and you have not already received a replacement, you have 10 days from the date of the loss to request a replacement by filling out the DSS 1678 Replacement/Supplement Affidavit formOpen PDF (Spanish versionOpen PDF). You will need to print the form, complete and sign it, then mail, fax, or drop it off at your Richmond County Department of Social Services.
Nutrition education provides educational information and classes to improve the likelihood that families on a limited budget make healthy food choices and choose physically active lifestyles by acquiring knowledge, skills and behavior changes consistent with MyPlate Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
North Carolina Nutrition Education Program
The primary focus is to provide low-income families and children comprehensive nutrition education, a healthy diet, obesity prevention, physical activity and better access to food through FNS. Families and children are provided education opportunities through a collaborative partnership between the Division of Social Services, community agencies, organizations and universities. Learn more about our partners.
SNAP-Ed Health Channel:
Videos on a healthy lifestyle.
Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
This program is designed to deliver food assistance to elderly individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). All SNAP cases are one-person households. SNAP is a simplified version of the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).
Individuals must meet the following criteria to be eligible for SNAP:
- Receive SSI (individuals may have other income as well) and
- Be age 65 or older and
- Not living in an institution or in an Alcohol/Drug Treatment Center (ADTC) and
- Residing in North Carolina and
- Purchases and prepares food separately from other people living in the home and
- Not receiving Food and Nutrition Services or SNAP in another state and
- Not disqualified from the regular Food and Nutrition Services Program
Note: Married individuals living in the same home cannot be considered a separate household.
Income and deductions are not considered when determining SNAP allotment amounts. Only shelter costs are used to determine the allotment amount.
Allotment amounts for SNAP are as follows:
The FNS allotment amount is $105 if the rent, mortgage, and/or lot rent expense is $200 per month or higher.
The FNS allotment amount is $65 if the rent, mortgage, and/or lot rent expense is less than $200 per month.
SNAP Application Procedures
Individuals applying for regular Food and Nutrition Services will be evaluated for and authorized for SNAP if the criteria for SNAP is met and the SNAP allotment amount is equal to or greater than the current allotment amount. Potential SNAP recipients are identified monthly via the North Carolina State Data Exchange (SDX) match process and are automatically mailed a SNAP application. Applications are processed within 30 days from the date the application is received in the local DSS agency. Eligible households automatically receive an EBT card with PIN instructions once the SNAP application is approved. SNAP cases are certified for three years.
SNAP Conversion Process
Current Food and Nutrition Services cases meeting the SNAP eligibility criteria will automatically convert to a SNAP case if the SNAP allotment amount is equal to or greater than the current allotment amount.