The Basic Food Program
Having enough nutritious food is important for your family. There are programs and resources to help your family get the food you need, and we can help you get connected to these benefits.
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).
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 might be call the Family Food Hotline at 1-888-436-6392.
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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:
- Qualification for low-cost local phone service
- Shows your family meets the income for WIC, The Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
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.