How to Apply for Food Stamps in Memphis

Grocery store

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Occasionally, circumstances arise in which we need a little help. If you are struggling financially and need food stamps in Memphis, Tenn., read below to find out more about the program and how to apply.

What Are Food Stamps?

The Tennessee Food Stamp program is a federally-financed program that provides funds to children, the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed that can be used for purchasing fresh food. Since Food Stamps were implemented nationwide in 1964, malnutrition has been almost eliminated. Once you apply, you receive a benefit security card (also called "EBT") that can be used at many stores to purchase food.

How to Apply for Food Stamps

First, you'll check your eligibility based on the Tennessee Food Stamp program's guidelines. Typically, eligibility is determined by income, available resources, and the size of your household. If you're deemed eligible, you'll then apply. You can fill out an application online or visit in person at one of the following locations:

  • 170 North Main Street, Memphis, Tenn. 38103
  • 3230 Jackson Ave., Memphis, Tenn. 38122
  • 3360 South Third Street, Memphis, Tenn. 38109

What You Need to Apply for Food Stamps

You'll need to gather documentation of identity. If you apply for food stamps in person or if you are asked to come in for an interview, you must bring the following original documents: proof of citizenship such as birth certificate, passport, or citizenship or immigration papers; proof of identity such as driver's license, voter’s registration card, Health Department or school records, I-94 card, passport, or Resident Alien card; proof of age such as birth certificate, or hospital, baptismal, or school records; and proof of residency such as rent receipts, mortgage book, property tax statement, or homeowner's insurance.

Additionally, you'll also need to gather financial documentation. You will also need to supply the Department of Human Services with proof of the following: cost of utilities such as MLGW and phone bills; value of life insurance such as policies and bills; income such as check stubs and W-2 forms; financial resources such as bank accounts, CDs, savings bonds, property, and automobiles; medical records, needed only in case of a disability claim; absent parent, any documentation showing where absent parent is; deceased parent such as death certificate; unemployment such as layoff notice, employer statement, or unemployment benefits records.

Tips for Applying for Food Stamps

  • There is frequently a long wait at DHS offices. For this reason, it is best to submit your application online.
  • After you've applied, be prepared to wait. It can take up to 45 days for your application to be approved or denied. A DHS caseworker may also contact you to provide additional information or documentation.
  • Once approved, you will not actually receive stamps. These days, your food stamp benefits will be loaded onto an EBT card that works like a debit card.
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