Written by Vanessa Wit
Food stamps and food assistance programs are federally administered and are free to low-income families. The purpose of this article is to simplify the understanding of the process for those seeking information. We hope that reading on will help to clarify a lot of your questions regarding food stamps in North Carolina and also hopefully help you learn how to save more on your grocery bills along the way.
The state of North Carolina provides its residents with an online tool called ePass to help you determine if you are eligible. Here are some factors that this tool will address as well as any representative of your county discussing options.
Your family/household must meet a certain income standard in order to be eligible. Gross income standards differ according to the number of individuals within your household.
Families of four having a monthly gross income at or below $2,498 can be eligible.
Keep in mind that there can be deductions withheld based on resources that the family has. If your determined income exceeds the states limits, then it doesn't matter what your expenses are (i.e. housing costs, credit card payment, transportation expenses, etc).
There are other factors that go into whether your income makes you eligible, please reach out to your local county Social Services office to determine if you are eligible.
If you are not accepted due to household income, but your expenses are causing strains on your ability to buy basic needs, there are other ways to stretch your dollars. Coupons, promotions, and store deals are great ways to save big at the register. There are many different coupon strategies and techniques you can use.
Grocery Coupon Network is a great online resource to use to find local coupons, learn ways to save more, and to connect with a community of people that also looking for ways to save.
You will need to provide all information needed to the state and county departments processing your application. This includes copies of social security cards for all persons within the household, proof of permanent residence if needed, proof of income for all members that work and also proof of any other resources received. The department will also run a criminal check, as some felonies may disqualify you.
The traditional "food stamps" no longer exist. Funds are now distributed through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. These act just as a regular debit card does. The allotment of funds is supplied once a month in a lump sum.
This lump sum process make it extremely important that you and your family plan out shopping and meals. If you spend too much of your funds early in the month, you could be in trouble later. Using coupons and shopping smart can help you expand your food stamp funds to avoid running low too early.
One great method a lot of extreme couponers use is called doubling. Doubling, just like it sounds- is the ability to use two of the same coupon and double the value of your savings. The trick is that not every store allows this. You need to find the stores in your area that let you double your coupons. Some stores only do this certain days of the week, while others only let you double up to a certain amount. Check Grocery Coupon Network for a list of stores in North Carolina that allow doubling. GCN found stores in Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Cashiers, Wilmington and so many more.
There are 100 counties within North Carolina- each county has its own process you will need to go through. You need to apply through your local county Department of Social Services. You can find the locations by visiting the North Carolina Health and Human Services Website. You will then be able to download the application online or receive a hard copy from the office.
Once you get accepted to receive food assistance funds (or even if you don't), come to Grocery Coupon Network for advice and strategies on how to save at the check out line. By saving through coupons and deals, you can stretch your food stamp dollars, freeing up money for other important expenses in your life.
We even have great recipes and grocery list tools you can use. Check back often as we add more coupons and local deals you should be taking advantage of.
Video: How to Use a Coupon Organizer to Save TimeUse a Coupon Organizer to make couponing easier. Step up from envelopes and get serious about organizing to save time and headaches.
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