Food and Nutrition

What is Food and Nutrition Services?

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is a federal food assistance program that helps low-income families buy nutritious food.  In North Carolina monthly FNS benefits are issued via "Electronic Benefits Transfer" EBT card.  The EBT card is used to buy food at most grocery stores and some farmers' markets.  The EBT card is like a credit or debit card; and like these cards it is swiped at the store's checkout.  FNS benefits are issued on the EBT card on a specific date of each month; according to the individual's last digit of their Social Security Number (SSN).

Can I get Food and Nutrition Services?

To get Food and Nutrition Services, your income and your other resources have to be under certain limits.

  • Income: Your total income, before taxes or any other subtractions, is called gross income. However, the program allows certain deductions to be subtracted from your gross income. These deductions include housing costs, child support, medical expenses (for elderly or disabled people), or child-care costs. The amount of income left is called net income.

Most households must meet both gross and net income limits. If your household has a person who is 60 or older or who is disabled, you only need to meet the net income limit. If everyone in your household receives SSI or WFFA, you do not need to meet any of the income limits.

How do I apply for Food and Nutrition Services?

Go online to to apply for FNS benefits.

Call or go to the local DSS for an application or ask them to mail you an application.