Food and Nutrition Services

The Food and Nutrition Services Program (FNS) is a federal food assistance program that provides assistance to households with limited income and resources. Limits are different, depending on the number and ages of persons in the home. Food and Nutrition Services benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards) that may be used to purchase food at participating stores. These benefits cannot be used to purchase tobacco, pet food, paper products, soap products, toiletries, or alcoholic beverages. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements for income, household composition, citizenship/immigration status, work requirements, and resources.

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

EBT is a method North Carolina uses to issue Food & Nutrition Services benefits. The FNS benefits are placed in an EBT or E-Funds account each month. FNS recipient households use a magnetic stripe card, much a credit or debit card, to buy food at USDA authorized grocery stores. Once an FNS application is processed, the head of household is sent an EBT card.

To Apply

You may apply in person at the local Department of Social Services (DSS) in the state/county where you reside. You may go to the FNS website and complete the application online and submit to DSS by mail or by fax.

If you are a Carteret County resident, you may mail application to:

Department of Social Services
210 Craven Street
Beaufort, NC 28516

The date of the application is the date the completed, signed, and dated application is received in the DSS agency in the county where you reside. If eligible, benefits cannot begin prior to the application date. You may be required to come into the agency to complete the interview. If you have circumstances that prevent you from coming into the agency, contact DSS at 252-728-3181.

Non-Discrimination Statement

USDA Programs (SNAP)

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Complaint Form, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA via mail, email, or fax.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442