The Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Program, previously referred to as Food Stamps, helps low-income households with monthly food expenses. The purpose of Food and Nutrition Services is to end hunger and improve nutrition and health. It helps eligible households buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet.
Updates from NCDHHS
Extra Federal Food Benefits Due to COVID-19 Will End in March. In North Carolina and nationally, emergency allotments for COVID-19 in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program will end in March 2023. Households that have been receiving extra FNS benefits (called "emergency allotments") each month since March 2020 or after will see a reduction in benefits because of a federal change that ends emergency allotments for all states. Learn more here.
Card Skimmers and Stolen FNS Benefits. NCDHHS is aware of increasing reports regarding benefit theft by criminal actors through EBT card skimming and cloning, as well as fraudulent transactions recently. Learn more.
Child Care (previously “Children Under 6”) P-EBT for the 21-22 School Year
P-EBT benefits will be issued for the 21-22 school year under the same eligibility requirements as last year. To be eligible for benefits, a child must be 5 years old or younger (as of September 1, 2021) AND be included in an active Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) case. Young children who are part of the Student P-EBT population cannot receive Child Care P-EBT benefits.
Eligible children can expect to receive Child Care P-EBT benefits on their existing FNS EBT card.
A statewide benefit amount will be issued each month based on guidance from USDA. All eligible children across the state will receive the same amount. However, the amount will likely change with each issuance.
For more information, please visit www.ncdhhs.gov/PEBT.
Student P-EBT has been approved for the 2021-2022 school year
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a food assistance program that helps families with children who are unable to access free or reduced-price meals at school when they are not physically present because of COVID-19.
For more information, visit: www.ncdhhs.gov/PEBT
How does it work?
- Food and Nutrition Services benefits are issued monthly through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) which automatically deposits the monthly balance into the household's EBT account.
- Households are issued a card and can pay for their groceries at food stores by using the card in the same way they would use a debit card at the checkout counter.
- The cost of the purchased groceries is deducted electronically from the EBT account.
Am I eligible?
To receive Food and Nutrition Services, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a US Citizen or qualified legal immigrant;
- Have, or have applied for, a Social Security number; and
- Meet income and reserve requirements.
Notice to Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program Recipients
Due to the Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA), this change may affect your SNAP benefits effective October 1, 2021.