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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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snap benefits

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. 

​With assistance from trained professionals, seniors will receive maximum benefit and cost savings. 

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.

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
Manna Foodbank
We partner with Manna Foodbank for the SNAP program

SNAP Eligibility

For additional information click here.

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

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. 

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