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Community Information, Food for Thought
A Helping Hand from Food Stamps
The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known more commonly as the Food Stamp Program, provides support to low-income New Yorkers including working families, qualified immigrants, the elderly and the disabled to increase their ability to purchase food. A household must qualify under eligibility rules set by the federal government to enroll in this program. To determine your eligiblity for this or other goverment assistance programs, click here.
You can get an application by calling 311 or 877-472-8411 or at a Food Stamp Center. Select your borough below to find out specific locations, hours and telephone numbers. You can also download an application here.
Once you submit your application, you'll need to set up an interview. The following documentation will be necessary for your interview:
Proof of identity (driver’s license, ID card)
Proof of address (lease, electric, gas, water or phone bill, rent receipt, or mortgage statement)
Social Security numbers of all applicants.
Proof of the amount of all earned and unearned income before taxes or deductions (pay stubs for the past month or two, employer wage statement, benefits letter from Social Security unemployment compensation, Veterans Administration or pensions).
Proof of shelter costs.
Proof of immigration status for non-citizens who are applying for Food Stamps.
Proof of child support payments (support order, separation agreement, child support records).
Proof of out-of-pocket medical expenses if you are age 60 or older or receive federal disability benefits (doctor or hospital bills; prescription receipts, receipts for over-the-counter medical expenses if prescribed by a medical practitioner; transportation costs to get to medical care)
Proof of child care expenses if you are working or looking for work or in training.
If you have questions about your documentation, contact your local Food Stamp Center.
To see what you can and can't purchase with food stamps, visit this website from the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.
Here are some additional resources for more information.