Program DescriptionThe Food Assistance Program helps ensure that eligible low-income families and individuals are able to obtain a nutritious diet. Food Assistance benefits are intended to supplement other household income and may only be used to purchase food. Other household items such as cleaning supplies, paper goods, clothes, alcohol or tobacco products may not be purchased with Food Assistance.
Food Assistance recipients are able to purchase their food by using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. This card may be used at any retail store authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The amount of benefits received is based on the household size and financial circumstances.
All individuals who purchase and prepare food together are considered a family group for Food Assistance purposes and must have their eligibility determined together.
To be eligible for Food Assistance family groups must have income and assets below the program standards. After adding all the family groups gross income, the case manager will make deductions to the family groups income. These deductions may include, but are not limited to, shelter (rent, mortgage or utilities), childcare or medical expenses.
Other technical factors must be met for a family to be eligible for Food Assistance. These technical factors may include:
- Work registration, having a job or looking for work
- Cooperation with Child Support Enforcement
- Citizenship or an eligible non-citizen status with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and
- Florida residency