basic foodLearn about eligibility for food programs.

The Basic Food Program (Food Stamps)

Basic Food is a free program that provides money to buy groceries each month using an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT). EBT cards work like debit cards. You can spend your monthly benefits in participating grocery stores. Basic Food is a program of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Use our Benefit Finder to see if you qualify for Basic Food and apply online.

Income Guidelines for Basic Food Program Eligibility

Eligibility is based on gross monthly income (before taxes) and household size. The amount of food assistance a family receives depends on different living expenses like childcare, child support paid out, utilities and rent or mortgage. The average family receives $216 per month, that’s about $54 per week! Some families receive more, some families receive less.

To find out how much your family’s monthly benefit could potentially be call the Family Food Hotline at 1-888-436-6392.

Income Guidelines
(effective 4/1/2014)
Family Size Monthly Income
1 person $1,945
2 $2,622
3 $3,299
4 $3,975
5 $4,652
6 $5,329
7 $6,005
8 $6,682
9 $7,359
10 $8,035
10+ $677 each

What are the benefits of applying if my monthly amount is low or even zero?

In families of 3 or more it is possible to receive a zero-dollar monthly benefit. But being enrolled in Basic Food has other benefits such as:

Also, if approved for zero benefits you can contact DSHS any time you have a change in expenses or income and they can re-determine your food benefit amount without you having to reapply for the program.