Food Assistance

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The Food and Nutrition Program is designed to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well-being of the nation's population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households.

Anyone may apply for Food and Nutrition Services: eligibility criteria will be discussed during the interview process. Applications are taken Monday through Friday from of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Department of Social Services, 102 Camp Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312. You may call our office at (919) 542-2759 if you have specific questions.

The information needed to determine eligibility is:
• Identification such as valid driver's license or ID card
• Social Security Cards for all members of household included in Food and Nutrition Program
• Verification of all income for members of household included in Food and Nutrition Program
• Verification of Rent or Mortgage Expenses
• Verification of Utility Expenses (electric bill, water bill, telephone bill, etc.)
• Information regarding all resources (bank accounts, 401-K, vehicles, burial plots, etc.)
• Proof of medical expenses for household members receiving Social Security Disability or age 60 and older
Additional information may be needed and will be discussed during the interview.

The three main areas of eligibility are household size, resources and household income. Once the caseworker has determined that the household meets each of these eligibility factors, the shelter and utility expenses will be considered. Other deductions that may be allowed are childcare expenses, legally ordered child support payments and medical deductions.

To apply for benefits you must complete an application either by applying at the Department of Social Services or completing an application at Benefits cannot be issued until a face-to-face interview has been conducted by a caseworker. Mailing an application still requires a face-to-face interview.

All applicants are screened for emergency benefits during the interview process. An emergency is determined by assessing the household's situation for the entire month the application was submitted. If the household is determined in need of emergency benefits they will receive their initial benefit amount within 7 days. If a household is determined ineligible for emergency benefits they will receive their benefits within 30 days of the date of application.

Benefits for Food and Nutrition Services are issued using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Once a household has been determined eligible, they will receive an EBT card through the mail and only one card is issued per family. The card then needs to be activated at the Chatham County Department of Social Services or by telephone. The household may then purchase food at any authorized grocery store. Once a purchase has been made the amount of the purchase is automatically deducted from their account and the remaining balance is shown on the bottom of their receipt. The monthly benefits are added to the account on the same day each month.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)