Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Please tell us if you need assistance with this site because you have a disability or don’t speak English. Free assistance is available. Contact the Family Assistance Service Center Number 866-311-4287 and/or the TTY number at 711. After the recorded message, you will reach an operator who can provide you with an interpreter.
Important: Emergency SNAP Allotments are Ending in December
Last year because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the federal government authorized the issuance of emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for households across the nation. These emergency benefits added to the normal amount of SNAP benefits each month as long as a state of emergency existed in our state. Tennessee’s State of Emergency Order ended in November 2021, so the additional emergency SNAP benefits some SNAP recipients have been receiving will end for their households as of December 31, 2021. Click Here to Learn More.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, unemployed and working families. SNAP helps supplement monthly food budgets of families with low-income to buy the food they need to maintain good health and allow them to direct more of their available income toward essential living expenses. DHS staff determines the eligibility of applicants based on guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary goals of the program are to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and to improve nutrition and health in eligible households. DHS has a dual focus on alleviating hunger and establishing or re-establishing self-sufficiency.
You can apply for many of our services online.
PLEASE NOTE: DHS has implemented COVID-19 precautions for all visitors entering office lobbies across the state. These rules will impact customers coming into state offices for scheduled in-person appointments.
- Arriving alone to drop-off or pick-up documents or take part in scheduled in-person appointments.
- Answering COVID-19 health screening questions.
- Maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others.
- Not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Some interview requirements have been temporarily waived for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Customers filing initial applications and recertifications are not required to visit an office provided their identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications have been completed.
Helpful Information to Know About Applying
If you are applying for SNAP benefits, the documents listed below may be needed to complete the application process.
YOU MAY NEED PAPERS THAT SHOW:
- Social Security Number
- Your Identification (Example: driver's license, school ID with photo, Passport, Resident Alien Card, I-94 card, voter's registration card)
- Where you live (Example: lease agreement, utility bill, phone bill, or driver’s license with your address on it)
- Income (Example: check stubs, employer statement, award letters)
- Shelter costs (Example: mortgage payments, property tax, homeowner’s insurance, rent receipt, lease agreement)
- Costs of utilities (Example: electric bill, water bill, gas bill)
You may be asked to provide more information during your interview. Your eligibility counselor will explain what information is needed, how to get it and help you if you need assistance.
Family Assistance Service Center
SNAP benefits are issued and accessed electronically using a Benefit Security Card or EBT Card. To apply for benefits, submit your application online or visit the local DHS county office.
Current SNAP recipients can find information on their case with CaseConnect.
If you do not already have a TDHS account, you will need to create one to access services (e.g. CaseConnect).
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Need help finding the right information? Click the chat icon in the red circle located in the lower right corner of this screen to find many answers related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs(SNAP), Families First Program and contact information.
SNAP Online Purchasing
SNAP recipients are now able to use their benefits to buy authorized food items online through ALDI via Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart locations across the state.
IMPORTANT: SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery fees and SNAP recipients who receive cash benefits on their EBT cards will not be able to apply those non-SNAP benefits for online purchases.
Using SNAP benefits online:
At ALDI and Food Lion:
How do I make an online purchase at ALDI or Food Lion using SNAP benefits?
To make a purchase online with ALDI or Food Lion, SNAP recipients will need to have an Instacart account and add their EBT card information at the point of purchase or under the account settings menu. Once SNAP EBT information is added, customers may choose to use their SNAP EBT benefits to pay for select eligible items or full orders at the point of purchase. To learn which items are SNAP-eligible, customers will see an upfront “EBT” tag on items, and can also use the account settings menu or filter feature while shopping online. Visit Instacart’s website for assistance selecting SNAP EBT eligible items or click here to learn more about using your SNAP EBT card to purchase items at ALDI and Food Lion through Instacart. A credit or debit card must also be linked to your Instacart account to cover fees, bottle deposits in some states, taxes, delivery tips, and any other non-EBT SNAP-eligible items you may want to purchase.
What do I need to make a SNAP purchase on Amazon?
SNAP recipients must have an Amazon user account and register their SNAP EBT card before making a purchase. Once the SNAP EBT card has been registered, food items will be marked SNAP EBT eligible. A SNAP EBT card can also be added at the point of checkout. Shipping fees cannot be paid using SNAP benefits; however, some shipping costs are waived with a minimum purchase. Cash benefits loaded on an EBT card cannot be used for online purchases. Purchases can be made through Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry, and Amazon Grocery. Learn more by clicking here.
SNAP recipients will be able to make purchases through Walmart Grocery Pick Up following the guidelines established for SNAP online purchasing. Click here to explore these guidelines.
What do I need to make SNAP purchases online at Walmart?
Purchases can be made at walmart.com/grocery or on the Walmart Grocery mobile app. During check out, select EBT card as a payment method. When picking up groceries, swipe your SNAP EBT card with the Walmart associate. Learn more at Walmart’s website.
The following links may contain answers to additional questions regarding online SNAP Purchases:
What can SNAP buy?
Click here to learn what items are eligible.
Click here to learn about the USDA’s online purchasing program.
Replacement SNAP Benefits (for existing SNAP recipients)
The Tennessee Department of Human Services is prepared to provide replacement Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to families who suffered losses due to severe weather which may have caused power outages or a household misfortune.
These replacement benefits are available for existing SNAP recipients who:
- Lost food due to a power outage of 12 hours or more
- Lost food due to a household misfortune
Individuals requesting replacement benefits need to sign an affidavit and send it to DHS using the File Upload tool, available here: https://fileupload.dhs.tn.gov/.
SNAP recipients must request replacement benefits within 10 (ten) calendar days of experiencing food loss. Once approved, SNAP replacement benefits are issued on the current recipient’s EBT card. Replacement SNAP benefits will be authorized for the value of the loss only and can’t exceed the current month’s allotment.
Due to COVID-19 precautions regarding social distancing, DHS office lobbies are available only to customers by appointment.
Discounted Zoo Memberships offered to SNAP Participants for Family Fun
The Nashville Zoo is offering reduced priced memberships for SNAP recipients. Participant must purchase the membership onsite at the Zoo’s Membership Building. Please tell the Membership Associate that you wish to use the SNAP discount and present both a valid SNAP/EBT card and ID to them. After SNAP discount the rate will be $50 (regular rate is currently $145). May not be combined with any other offers. Click here for a flyer with more information
Zoo Knoxville also offers reduced price memberships for families participating in the SNAP and Families First/TANF Programs. To learn more about pricing and Zoo Knoxville membership benefits, click here.
Learn more about:
Reports and Information:
TDHS is currently reviewing and revising its SNAP policies in order to simplify, streamline, and ensure the documents reflect our current best practice. While the initial policy review and revision is conducted, there may be some conflicts or incongruence between some portions of the policy manual and the new or revised policies. If you have questions related to SNAP policies please email SnapPolicy.DHS@tn.gov.
The non-discrimination section of the SNAP Policy Manual has been replaced by
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
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 Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, 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 by:
1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
3. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.