More food. Less worry. Basic Food is extra money for groceries to help put healthy food on the table.
If you or your family needs support buying groceries, Basic Food is for you. What is Basic Food? Also known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Basic Food helps Washingtonians by providing monthly benefits to buy food. A family of four can receive over $600/month.
Here is how Basic Food works:
- Each month, Basic Food dollars are loaded onto an EBT card.
- Your Basic Food EBT card is accepted at grocery stores, online and at many farmers markets.
- Basic Food also qualifies you for extra benefits:
- Children in families with Basic Food are automatically enrolled in free school meals, no application required!
- Infants and toddlers in households with Basic Food may also be eligible for the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program.
- Community and technical college students with Basic Food also qualify for the Basic Food and Employment Training (BFET) program, an education and work training program that can help with childcare subsidies, books, tuition assistance and additional scholarships.
Who is Eligible for Basic Food?
Families and individuals who…
- work OR are unemployed
- go to school OR have school aged-children
- are citizens OR have a mixed-immigration status household
…can all qualify for Basic Food benefits.
If you or your family needs support buying groceries, Basic Food is for you.
Household size, gross income (pretax income), as well as some expenses like housing, utilities, and medical expenses determine Basic Food eligibility. See gross income guidelines for more information.
Resources such as a house, car or money in the bank do NOT count against eligibility.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all Basic Food participants qualify for maximum benefits. That means every individual who qualifies for Basic Food will receive at least $204 a month. Apply today!
Gross Income Guidelines
(4/1/2021 – 3/31/2022)
|Family Size||Gross Monthly Income|
What You Need to Apply
Before applying for Basic Food, here is what you will need:
- Your income information from the last 30 days.
- Names, ages and income information for every adult in your household with whom you buy, prepare or share food.
- Your household’s expenses (heating and cooling costs, child support, rent or mortgage).
Apply for Basic Food
Here are three easy ways to apply for Basic Food, depending on your needs and circumstances:
Households with Children
Family Food Hotline
If you live in a household with children (including households with mixed immigration status) and would like assistance applying, call the Family Food Hotline. Language services are available.
Community & Technical College Students
If you are a community or technical college student in King County, visit the Benefits Hub website to schedule an online appointment. They can help you apply for Basic Food.
If You Would Like to Apply on Your Own
If you do not need assistance and would like to apply for Basic Food on your own, you can do so by completing an application through the Washington Connection site.
After you apply for Basic Food, you will need to call the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to complete a Basic Food interview. You can call DSHS at 877-501-2233 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., except on state holidays.
You must do this within 30 days of your application. DSHS will not call you.
We recommend you call early in the morning.
Can I estimate how much my Basic Food benefits will be?
Yes, you can estimate your (non-maximum) benefits at the DSHS benefit estimator site, here: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/sites/default/files/ESA/csd/documents/bfcalculator/bf_benefit_estimator.htm
Are there any other benefits that come with Basic Food?
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, while enrolled in Basic Food you are eligible for low-cost local phone service through the Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP). Call 1-888-700-8800 for more information.