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CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: FOOD ASSISTANCE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & INFORMATION

NUTRITION PROGRAMS FAQ

If you think you may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s low-income assistance programs, please visit this site (https://njfc.force.com/njhelps) and answer a few questions about yourself and your family.

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

WHAT IS SNAP?

SNAP is a nutrition assistance program for low-income individuals and families that provides monthly electronic benefits for the purchase of healthy foods.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SNAP?

SNAP eligibility is based upon the income level of you and your family. Please visit this site https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/njsnap/about/qualify/ to determine if you qualify based upon your monthly income and family size.

HOW DO I APPLY? 

It is recommended that you go through pre-screening in order to ensure that you qualify before formally applying, which can be done here https://njfc.force.com/njhelps/NJHelpsHomePage.  If you choose to not pre-screen, you may apply online directly here https://oneapp.dhs.state.nj.us/Forms/SignIn/frmStart.aspx or by calling 1-800-687-9512.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECEIVE IN MONTHLY SNAP BENEFITS?

Monthly benefits are determined based on income level and family size. To estimate the potential maximum benefit you may be eligible for, please visit this site https://www.freshebt.com/state/new-jersey/food-stamps-eligibility-income-limits/#income-limit.

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS

Please visit the federal US Department of Agriculture’s Frequently Asked Questions site https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/recipient/eligibility.

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

WHAT IS WIC?

WIC is a public health nutrition program that provides nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods, and improved access to regular health care and social services to low and moderate-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and young children up to age 5 with, or at risk of, developing nutrition-related health problems.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR WIC?

WIC eligibility is determined based upon income level and family size. To determine if you are eligible, please visit this site https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/participants/apply-wic/income.shtml.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR WIC?

During the Coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, all applications are being processed over the phone. Please visit this site to find the closest WIC center to you and call to schedule an appointment https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/participants/find-wic/index.shtml.

WHAT DOES WIC PROVIDE?

WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care to eligible, low-income women, infants and children up to age 5.

CAN I USE WIC TO PURCHASE FOOD?

Yes, WIC benefits can be used to purchase certain food. See more here https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/participants/use-wic-checks/index.shtml.

CAN I USE WIC TO PURCHASE INFANT FORMULA?

Yes, WIC can be used to purchase certain infant formulas, please see this list for approved options https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/documents/authorized_%20exempt_infant_%20formulas.pdf.

WIC EN ESPAÑOL

COMMODITY SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM (CSFP)

WHAT IS CSFP?

CSFP provides low-income seniors at least 60 years of age with nutritious commodity foods distributed to the state by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR CSFP?

You must be a New Jersey resident, over the age of 60, and meet certain family income eligibility requirements provided here (https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/senior-nutrition/commodity-supplementa/eligibility.shtml).

HOW DO I APPLY FOR CSFP?

CSFP is administered through local food banks so you must locate your closest food bank and call to apply. Your closest food bank can be found here (https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/senior-nutrition/commodity-supplementa/foodbanks.shtml).

WHAT DOES CSFP PROVIDE?

Food packages include a variety of foods: cheese; milk; fruit juice; farina or cold dry cereal or rolled oats; rice or pasta or grits or dehydrated potato flakes; peanut butter or dry beans or dry peas; canned meat or poultry or fish; and canned fruits, and canned vegetables. Commodities are pre-packed and distributed to eligible seniors monthly. The contents of the food package changes month to month depending upon what is available from USDA.

WHERE CAN I PICK UP MY CSFP PACKAGE?

You can pick up your package at the same local food bank that you used to apply for CSFP.

THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEFAP)

WHAT IS TEFAP?

TEFAP provides nutrition packages with American grown food to low-income Americans of all ages.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR TEFAP?

TEFAP is available to individuals and families that currently participate in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), Supplement Security Income (SSI), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Medicaid or have a household income less than 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR TEFAP?

If you are already participating in one of the above programs but not participating in TEFAP, please contact your representative for the applicable program and request to apply for TEFAP.

WHAT DOES TEFAP PROVIDE?

CSFP currently provides over 70 different food items such as: fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, ham, rice, pasta, cereal, canned beans, raisins, peanut butter, bottled fruit juices, milk, and canned fruits and vegetables.

SENIORS FARMERS' MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM (SFMNP)

WHAT IS SFMNP?

SFMNP provides seniors with coupons that can be used to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey through farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SFMNP?

SFMNP is available to senior citizens who are 60 years and older and whose gross income (income before deductions for income taxes) is equal to or less than the income poverty guidelines increased by 185%. Please use the chart referenced here for income by family size https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/senior-nutrition/senior-farmers/.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR SFMNP?

Applications are mostly done at the county level or if you live in Jersey City or Paterson, by the city. Please determine which county you live in and call the number referenced here https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/senior-nutrition/senior-farmers/.

WHAT DOES SFMNP PROVIDE?

SFMNP allows seniors to purchase a variety of fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey for sale at local farmers’ markets or roadside stands.

FOOD BANKS

I NEED NUTRITION ASSISTANCE BUT DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ANY OF THE PROGRAMS ABOVE. WHAT SHOULD I DO? 

If you have applied and been denied for the government supported low-income nutrition assistance programs, a local food bank is an option. You can locate the closest food bank here https://www.nj211.org/resource-search/taxonomy/BD-1800.2000/_/1 or here http://www.endhungernj.org/.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

THESE NUTRITION PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN HELPFUL BUT I AM STILL IN NEED. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR ANY OTHER PROGRAMS?

I AM A SENIOR OR DISABLED AND NEED ADDITIONAL HELP. ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD THAT COULD PROVIDE ASSISTANCE?

Maybe. Check with your county Office on Aging here https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home/saaaa.html.