Wondering About EBT?

Have you ever been standing in the grocery line and wondering what EBT stands for?

EBT is an Electronic Benefit Transfer card, and this card replaced those paper food stamps you may remember from your youth. Now called SNAP benefits, these funds are transferred to recipients once a month and provide necessary monies for food for over one-and-a-half-million North Carolinians. That’s 15% of the population.

Making the decision to apply for SNAP benefits may be the hardest part of the process. As we approach this decision, many of us feel like we’ve failed somehow. However, the truth is that we are taking a positive step. Applying for SNAP benefits means we are choosing to feed our families. We are taking the reins of a situation where we may feel helpless and out of control.

Qualifications for SNAP Benefits

The North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services use specific guidelines to decide the qualification for EBT. These guidelines include a gross monthly income limit, citizenship requirement, and household composition.

In order to receive SNAP benefits, you must be a citizen of the US and of North Carolina. That’s a given.

When you apply for SNAP, you apply as a household. At its most basic, this means that everyone who purchases and prepares meals together in the house is included, along with any children being fed. That number is used to decide the gross monthly income limit allowed to your household.

The gross monthly income limit as of October 2022 starts at $1,473 for one person and runs up to $5,052 for eight (and extends by $512/additional person). Within these categories, benefits range from $281 to $1,691 (extending by $211/additional person) depending on that same household number.

Application Process

To apply, you’ll want to contact your local Department of Social Services office.

In Buncombe County, the local office is located at 40 Coxe Avenue in Asheville and the phone number is (828) 250-5500. This handy section of their website gives you a list of everything you’ll need to apply and the application for food assistance is in a link at the top of the page.

In Mitchell County, the local office is located at 347 Long View Drive in Bakersville and the phone number for more information on their SNAP program is (828) 537-1683. Click on this link and scroll down to Food and Nutrition Services to request an application for food assistance.

How to Use Your Benefits

Once you receive your EBT card, you’ll find that not everything that you consider “groceries” may be purchased with these funds. Basically, if it’s not food, you can’t buy it with SNAP benefits. This means that cleaning products, health & beauty items, tobacco, alcohol, and hot pre-made items can’t be purchased with EBT card. However, everything you need to make a meal, snacks, drinks, and some premade cold items like sandwiches and salads can be obtained. When you start looking for the notice that EBT is accepted, you’ll be amazed where your card can be used. Even some farmer’s markets take EBT!

Of course, at our Uplifting Deals locations, we’re proud to accept EBT as payment. When you proffer that card, you show us that you’re taking an active role and using our everyday savings to lift yourself up.

And that, of course, is the best deal of all!