North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services

North Carolina’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is an entitlement program that helps eligible North Carolinians purchase the food they need for a nutritionally adequate and well-balanced diet.

Families are issued an EBT card and pay for their groceries at any USDA authorized retailer by using the card, which works like a debit card, at the checkout counter.

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In order to qualify for FNS, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Live in North Carolina
  2. Be a US Citizen or a lawful permanent resident
  3. Show proof of identity
  4. Meet certain income guidelines
  5. Have less than $2,250 in resources

As a condition of eligibility, all SNAP recipients in North Carolina who aren’t exempt must meet the general SNAP work rules or the ABAWD work rules.

ABAWD recipients who aren’t working or exempt are limited to three months of eligibility every 36 months.

FAQ #


What are the income limits for food stamps in NC? #

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Most families in North Carolina with gross income up to 130% of the federal poverty level, about $2,380 a month for a family of three, qualify for food stamps.

How do I apply for food stamps in NC? #

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North Carolina residents can use an online tool called ePASS to submit application or pre-screen for potential eligibility for Food and Nutrition Services.

How long does it take to get approved for food stamps in NC? #

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Once your application is received and information verified, you’ll get a notice of your eligibility no later than 30 days. In some emergency cases, you may get “expedited benefits” in seven days or less.


Elderly age 65 or older who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), a simplified version of Regular Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).