Utah Food Assistance
Food Stamps * Food Banks * Food Pantries * Soup Kitchens * WIC
School Meals * Special Milk * Summer Food * Senior Nutrition
In the State of Utah, there are many sources for help with food. The Utah Food Stamp Program, food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens are all helping residents in need to cope with hunger and food insecurity.
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Learn more about
SNAP benefits a.k.a. Food Stamps.
Who is eligible for SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) in Utah?
How to apply for Utah Food Assistance?
How does Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determine eligibility?
Approved! When and how do I get the Food Stamps benefits?
How much Food Stamps benefits do participants receive per month?
How and where to use Food Stamps benefits?
Food Stamp (SNAP benefits) in Utah
Utah Food Stamp Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA, including Utah.
It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.
In Utah, the SNAP (Food Stamps) is administered by the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). The Federal Government oversees the State operation of the Food Stamp Program. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services “The Food Stamp Program is the cornerstone of the federal food assistance programs and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work. The focus of the Food Stamp Program is nutrition. It provides low-income households with assistance in the form of electronic benefits which can be used like cash at most grocery stores to ensure they have access to a healthy diet.”
Approx. of the total Utah population received Food Stamp Benefits in 2018
Recipients in June, 2018 of Food Stamps (SNAP) Benefits in Utah
Recipients in June, 2017 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in Utah
Who is Eligible for Utah Food Stamp Assistance?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Utah, like in other States, are based on a limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, and other requirements. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the eligible, low‐income local population.
Utah Food Stamp Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
In general, to qualify for Utah Food Stamp Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- Utah Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, each able-bodied household member, age 16-60, who are unemployed or under-employed must be registered to work, and accept a suitable employment offer;
- Resource Limit – countable household assets are limited to $2,250 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older), assets not countable include the home you live in, personal belongings, cash value of life insurance policy, and vehicles;
- Income Limits – income limits eligibility depends on household size and composition.
- Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both, standard gross and net income limits.
- There are higher gross income limits for households who have at least one member who is elderly or disabled.
Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits, and other sources. Household net income is computed by deducting certain allowed expenses from gross income.
Utah Food Stamps – Quick Eligibility Check
USDA Food and Nutrition Service offer this Pre-Screening Tool you can use to find out if you may be eligible to get Utah Food Stamp Benefits.
The screening allows interested in getting Utah food stamps to provide some basic information and find out if they are potentially eligible for benefits.
If you use this Pre-Screening Tool you will be notified immediately on the screen if you qualify after completing the questionnaire.
This is pre-screening information, and you still have to make an application at your local Utah Department of Workforce Services office.
The Utah Department of Workforce Services is the agency in Utah that can make the final determination regarding your SNAP application in this State and grant you benefits.
To figure out, before applying, if you'd qualify for food stamps benefits in your state you have to consider the following:
- Your Household size: How many people you live and buy food with? Count:
- anyone you live with and buy and make food with
- children under 22 years old and,
- elderly 60+ and disabled that you make food for.
- Your Income: How much money does your household make? This includes both:
- earned income - the money you make from jobs and
- unearned income - cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, child support, etc.
Who counts as a member of the household for SNAP eligibility?
In general, anyone who lives with you and you buy food with counts a member of your household.
Your children under 22 of age count as household members, even if they buy and make their own food.
But your tenant, for example, or your adult children that are over 22 of age do not count. They are not counted in the household number for the purpose of food stamp benefits qualification.
The elderly age of 60+ and disabled people count as household members if you buy and make food for them, or you buy and make food together. If they live with you, but they buy and make food separately, they do not count as household members.
See the updated table below for this fiscal year's income limits and monthly benefits (allotments).
What is the gross and net income limit that qualifies you for food stamps?
SNAP Max Income for Food Stamps
Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2020
(130% of poverty)
(100% of poverty)
|Each additional member
Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
What is Maximum Dollar Amount of Utah SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
If approved, the Utah Food Stamp Benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of their net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month, per household size. Check the table column about Max Food Assistance Benefit per month in dollars for each size of the household.
How to Apply for Food Stamps in Utah?
To apply for Food Stamp benefits in Utah visit one of the local DWS offices or call them to mail you the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Application for Food Stamps, Financial Assistance, Child Care, and Medical Assistance.
If you do not have all the information that is needed to complete the SNAP application, provide as much as you can – but you must include your name, address, social security number, and your signature for the DWS office to accept it.
When you file your Application for Food Stamps (SNAP), you will receive a form from the office the same day, or in the mail, that lists all items needed to be completed and provided for verification. You must respond within the stated period of time – usually 10 days. Contact the DWS office if you have questions or are unable to provide the proofs by the deadline listed in the form.
When your application is completed, you will get a letter within 30 days with the DWS decision on your case. If you are eligible, the letter will state how much food assistance benefits and for how long your household is eligible for before a review of the case is due, along with reporting requirements.
In general, your SNAP Benefits will start from the date the DWS received your application. The SNAP benefit amount depends on the household size and its net income – that is all countable income minus all allowable deductions
The application process may include meeting with the employment counselor at the local DWS office. If you are required to do so and you are an elderly, disabled individual, or unable to go to the office due to a hardship, call the DWS to explain your situation and ask for accommodation.
Utah SNAP applicants also have the option to apply for food benefits online using DWS web portal myCase which enables users to apply for SNAP and other State programs and services.
Utah Food Stamps Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Utah Department of Workforce Services needs to verify submitted information before determining if a household is eligible for Food Stamp Benefits.
Here is a list of examples of items that may be requested by the DWS office in order to determine your eligibility when you apply for Food Stamps Benefits:
- Proof of Identity
- Proof of Immigration Status of Non-Citizens
- Proof of Income
- Cash Resources
SNAP regulations require all non‐exempt household members to comply with work requirements. Work requirements include registering for work, not voluntarily quitting a job, and accepting a suitable employment offer for all SNAP benefit recipients age 16 through 59 – if they are not exempt.
As per federal SNAP guidelines, individuals who fail to comply with SNAP work requirements without good cause, are ineligible for program benefits and disqualified from SNAP for certain periods of time, depending on how many prior instances of non‐compliance there have been.
The law limits the SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 through 49 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week.
As part of the SNAP federal grant assistance requirements, each State has to offer employment and training (E&T) program to its SNAP benefits recipients. Participants in such programs, where available, can get adult education, vocational training, job skills training for specific jobs, and work experience via short-term unpaid work assignments.
The main goal of the work requirement is to help the SNAP benefits recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits.
Call 1-866-526-3663 if you want to find more about the Utah Employment and Training Program offered to SNAP recipients.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the Food Assistance Benefits?
Utah Food Stamp Program provides the SNAP benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system.
The monetary benefits of the Utah Food Stamps are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Utah Horizon Card.
Benefits are made available on the 5th, 11th, or 15th of every month, based on the first letter of the client’s last name:
First Letter of the Last Name is: A – G = benefits available on the 5th
First Letter of the Last Name is: H – O = benefits available on the 11th
First Letter of the Last Name is: P – Z = benefits available on the 15th
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Utah EBT Customer Service: 800-997-4444
How and Where to Use the Utah Food Stamp Benefits?
Utah Food Stamp benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) authorized stores displaying the Quest mark.
Households and individuals get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to use their food assistance benefits at any grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Check this list of Utah Food Stamp participating stores that are authorized to take EBT cards for purchasing of SNAP-eligible food items. Eligible food items are any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Seeds and plants to grow food for your own family’s consumption are also allowed to be purchased with food stamp benefits. You cannot buy non-grocery items with food stamp benefits, such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco.
I Need Food Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!
Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Assistance Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources, or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farmworker. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible. Call 1-866-526-3663 for more information on the Utah Food Stamp Program.
Utah Food Assistance Program
Find more about Utah Food Assistance Program
Search for Food Assistance by County and Town
Food Banks in Utah
Utah food banks play an important role in the overall Utah food assistance effort to end hunger and food insecurity throughout the State of Utah.
Their main objective is to collect food from various sources like wholesale organizations, grocery stores, and farms who have food in excess and are willing to donate.
Food banks then, sort, store, and distribute donated food to local soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries.
The Food Banks of Utah are such non-profit organizations that work to alleviate hunger in Utah.
Utah Food Banks
Food Pantries in Utah
Food pantries offer food directly to people that need it and who have the means to cook it. They usually receive food from local food banks and in turn distribute it to low-income individuals and households at no cost.
Food pantries are typically located in facilities where received food can be stored and handled in a safe and sanitary manner.
Each food pantry serves a designated local area and most of them require prior registration and approval before food can be distributed to a particular individual or a family.
Soup Kitchens in Utah
Soup kitchens serve cooked meals on-site to needy people at no cost. Like food pantries, they normally receive their food from local food banks.
Soup kitchens take care mostly of homeless people and people who do not have the means to cook for themselves.
They require storage, cleaning, and cooking equipment as they have to do food preparation, serving, and cleaning after the meals.
Food pantries are typically located in facilities where received food can be stored and handled in a safe and sanitary manner.
WIC Program in Utah
Utah Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals to Utah pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children during times of important growth.
School Meals in Utah
School meals in Utah are offered mainly through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
The Utah school meals programs make nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals available to school children each school day in the year.
School meals nutritional standards are based on the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Government and teachers have reported that students perform better in class if they get regular meals.
Children getting school breakfast also had significantly reduced absence and tardiness rates, according to a Tufts University study.
Special Milk Program in Utah
Utah Special Milk Program offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps. Any child in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program can get milk.
Schools may elect to offer free milk to low-income children. In order to qualify for Utah Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of Utah.
Summer Food Program in Utah
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is another Utah food assistance program that provides free meals and snacks to help low-income Utah children get nutritious meals in the summertime.
The Summer Food Service Program is a federal program that provides grants to local sponsors who want to combine a food service with a summer activity program.
The funding provided by SFSP ensures that Utah children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.
Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA