How Does Food Assistance Work?

USDA Eligibility Guidelines for Assistance

You are eligible if you are currently participating in the Food Stamp Program, TANF, SSI, LIEAP, or State General Assistance, or if your income is equal to or below:

Household Size Monthly Income $ Annual Income $
1 1,799 21,590
2 2,425 29,101
3 3,051 36,612
4 3,667 44,123
5 4,303 51,634
6 4,929 59,145
7 5,555 66,656
8* 6,181 74,167

* For each additional member, add $626 per month commodity foods are for home consumption only and are not to be sold, traded, bartered or exchanged for services.

Reasons for Needing Food Assistance

Reasons for needing food assistance vary. Here are the most common:

  • Some people are working at low paying jobs, going from welfare to work, are involved in job training, or going to school to better themselves and become self-reliant.
  • Seniors on fixed incomes of $400-600 per month. When they can get $100 worth of groceries each month, they have more money to purchase their medications and pay those higher winter utility bills.
  • Mentally or physically disabled people living on fixed incomes of $350-600 per month.
  • Individuals who have suffered a temporary crisis such as illness or injury. Some are unemployed, temporarily unemployed or facing a financial crisis.
  • Terminally ill people and cancer treatment patients access the food bank. With our help, those suffering from a life-altering illness can concentrate on their quality of life, themselves and their loved ones—not about choosing between paying for their medical prescriptions, living expenses and food.