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How to Apply for Food Stamps in Georgia

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The State of Georgia offers the Georgia Food Stamp Program, a government program that helps families who can't afford nutritious food on their own. The program is designed to ensure that all Georgia families have access to fresh, healthy foods options. Anyone is allowed to apply for food stamps.

Requirements and How to Apply:

General guidelines dictate that you must be you must be a resident of the State of Georgia and meet one of the following two requirements: current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001, or current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $3,001 who share their household with a person or persons age 60 and over, or with a person with a disability. From there, you must also fall into the low income bracket, which varies depending on the number of people in your household. For a family of four, this is about $29,965 annually.

Applications are filed by the head of household or an authorized representative. For the purposes of the application, a household may be one person living alone, a family, or several, unrelated individuals living together who routinely purchase and prepare meals together.

You can use this online quiz to determine if your household qualifies for food stamps. If you wish to apply, you can do so using the same Georgia Compass website. Once you have completed the application, you will also be required to participate in an interview. While DFCS prefers to do the interview in person, phone interviews can sometimes be arranged. During the interview process you'll need to prove your identity, citizenship, income, and compliance with work requirements.

Assistance is available for those that need help with their application. Assistance services include a language interpreter, help completing forms, require accommodations for a disability or assistance in obtaining information in order to complete your application. A caseworker will work with you to provide these services at no cost.

About Food Stamp Benefits:

The Food Stamp program operates through the Department of Children and Family Services. Upon being approved for assistance, you can receive benefits for one year before you must reapply. The amount provided varies based on the number of individuals in your household. In 2012 the average benefit in Georgia was $136 per person per month.

Benefits are issued via an electronic card that works like a debit card. Your food stamp dollars can be used to purchase food as well as some seeds that can be used to grow food at home. Food stamp benefits cannot be used to buy alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or tobacco, household supplies such as soap and paper products, medicines, vitamins, pet foods, or any non-food items. Most grocery stores and even some convenience stores accept food stamps - just look for the EBT logo.

Helpful hint: Did you know that when you use your food stamp dollars at local farmer's markets you get double the value? That's right, you can get $2 worth of local produce, meats, and more for just $1. This program is made possible by Wholesome Wave. See a list of participating markets.
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