To make an appointment with an enrollment specialist, call the Council on Aging of Buncombe County at (828) 277-8288.
While COVID-19 remains active at high levels in our community, we will be closed to the public for walk-ins, but may assist you over the phone.
We make it easy to get help paying for groceries and saving you money!
We know many adults are relying on Social Security benefits and are on fixed incomes. With rising food costs, using SNAP frees up cash for other essentials, like medicine. Plus, SNAP dollars add up from month to month, so you can save for special occasions with family and friends.
SNAP, once called the Food Stamp program, provides benefits to qualified households through electronic cards that enable them to buy nutritious food at over 200,000 retailers nationwide and, now during COVID 19, with many online stores as well.
Less than half of all seniors who qualify for SNAP are enrolled in the program, making low-income seniors especially vulnerable to hunger. Unfortunately many seniors in our area are faced with the challenges associated with making difficult decisions such as paying for medicine or buying groceries.
Food insecurity sufferers are also three times more likely to suffer from depression, are at increased likelihood for falls due to poor bone density and loss of muscle mass, and are at increased risk for chronic disease. SNAP reduces food insecurity by 30% and provides an average single household benefit of $105.
Even with the minimum benefit of $16, you can carry your balance forward from month to month and save for a large shopping. Even if you are using the minimum on a monthly basis, you can get eggs, milk, rise, bananas, beans, bread, chicken, carrots…see image right.
COVID-19 has made it possible for all SNAP enrollees to receive the MAXIMUM benefit amount until further notice.
SNAP/ EBT Food Assistance
The Council on Aging of Buncombe County can help you apply for SNAP/EBT food assistance. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and EBT is the Election Benefits Transfer card. Click here for information about the Buncombe County food assistance program. Click here for the United States Department of Agriculture’s information about SNAP.
Income: You may be eligible for Food and Nutrition Services if your total income falls below the appropriate gross income limits for your household size. Eligibility workers determine which income limit applies to your household.
The maximum benefit amount for households receiving Food and Nutrition Services increased by 15% for the period of January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. This increase will end on June 30, 2021 and benefit amounts will return to their current levels.
For additional information click here.
SNAP/EBT and Farmer’s Market
SNAP benefits can be used at 9 participating farmers markets in Buncombe County. Click here for full list.
At Asheville City Market, you can double your SNAP dollars. For example, swiping an EBT card for $5 will yield $10 in market tokens to spend on SNAP-eligible items at individual farmer stands. This program is in effect at both locations of Asheville City Market (downtown on Saturday mornings and at Biltmore Park Town Square on Wednesday afternoons).
How does SNAP/EBT work at market?
- Bring your EBT card to the Market Information booth at your participating farmers market.
- Swipe your EBT card for the amount of money you want to spend.
- Receive the amount of money in market tokens to use with eligible market vendors.
- Shop for fresh and healthy food while supporting your local farmers!
No cash back, but tokens do not expire.
What items are eligible to buy with SNAP market tokens?
- fruits and vegetables
- breads and cereals
- meats, fish, poultry
- dairy products
- seeds and plants that produce edible foods
In Partnership with MANNA FoodBank, we have received National Council on Aging funds for a Senior SNAP enrollment initiative.
SNAP/FNS income limits
October 1, 2020-September 30, 2021
|Number of People in Household||Maximum Gross Income (200%)*||Maximum Benefit Amount|
|Each Additional Member||+$748||+$153|
* Some individuals must meet standard gross income limits (130%), and DSS will make this determination.
1. Income: You may be eligible for Food and Nutrition Services if your total income falls below the appropriate gross income limits for your household size. Eligibility workers determine which income limit applies to your household.
2. Household Composition: Some individuals must participate in Food and Nutrition Services as one household even though they purchase and prepare their meals separately.
Individuals who must participate as one household include:
- Individuals living together who purchase/prepare their food together
- Spouses living together or individuals representing themselves as a married couple
- Individuals under the age of 22 living with a parent
- Individuals under 18 under the parental control of an adult living in the home
- Two unmarried adults living in the same home who are parents of a mutual child
3. Citizenship/Immigration Status: All individuals receiving Food and Nutrition benefits must be US citizens or immigrants admitted to the United States under a specific immigration status.
4. Resources: Some households may be subject to a resource test.
- Households may have $2,250 in countable resources
- Households may have $3,500 if at least one person is age 60 or older or disabled
- Certain resources are not counted, such as homes, buildings and land
This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do
not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products,
or organi!ations imply endorsement bythe U.S. Government.