Kansas Food Assistance
Food Stamps * Food Banks * Food Pantries * Soup Kitchens * WIC
School Meals * Special Milk * Summer Food * Senior Nutrition
In the State of Kansas, there are many sources for help with food. Kansas Food Assistance Program, food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens are all helping residents in need to cope with hunger and food insecurity.
ON THIS PAGE
Learn more about
SNAP benefits a.k.a. Food Stamps.
Who is eligible for SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) in Kansas?
How to apply for Kansas Food Assistance?
How does Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) 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 Kansas
Kansas Food Assistance 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 government grants to the States for purpose of reducing hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation.
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. Learn more about SNAP.
In Kansas, the SNAP is administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) as The Food Assistance Program. According to the Kansas DCF “The Food Assistance Program serves as the first line of defense against hunger. It provides crucial support to elderly households, to low-income working households, to other low-income households that include the unemployed or disabled and to households transitioning from welfare to work.”
Approx. of the total Kansas population received Food Stamp Benefits in 2018
Recipients in June, 2018 of Food Stamps (SNAP) Benefits in Kansas
Recipients in June, 2017 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in Kansas
Who May be Eligible for Food Assistance in Kansas?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Kansas, 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.
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.
Kansas Food Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families who work or are unemployed, have limited income resources, compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
To be eligible for Kansas Food Assistance Benefits, first, you have to meet following basic program requirements:
- Kansas Resident – must be U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Limited Resources – have countable household assets 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);
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, all able-bodied household members between 16 and 60 must work or be registered to work, participate in a State-approved employment and training program;
- Income Limits – Income limits eligibility depends on household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly (60 years of age or older) or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits, etc. See the table with Kansas Food Assistance income limits per household size below.
Some Kansas residents may be automatically or so-called categorically eligible for Food Assistance Benefits if they already participate in other means-tested assistance programs. Getting benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for Food Assistance categorically eligible, thus bypassing the income eligibility and asset eligibility rules. Under the federal SNAP regulations, States do have to assign a gross income limit of 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) or less in order to use any TANF-funded benefit that can make Food Assistance applicants eligible.
Quick Eligibility Check
Use this Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool to find out if you might be eligible to get Kansas Food Assistance Benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows interested in getting Kansas food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits.
Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make an application at your local Kansas DCF Office.
There are federal and state-specific requirements for different situations that must be met in order to get Food Assistance Benefits in Kansas.
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||+$479||+$369||+$146|
Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
What is the Kansas Food Assistance Benefits?
If approved, the Kansas 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. The dollar amounts of food assistance benefits are called allotments. See the table column about Max Food Assistance Benefit per month in dollars for each size of the household.
How to Apply for Food Assistance in Kansas?
You may apply for food assistance in the county in which you and your household are located. Applications for Food Assistance Benefits are available at the local DCF Service Centers.
Kansas Food Assistance applications can be requested by calling 1-888-369-4777. Online application for Kansas Food Assistance Program can be made at the DCF website.
You can go into the local DCF Service Center and complete the application while you are there. If you do not have all the information complete as much as you can including your name, social security number, what you are applying for, and sign it. The DCF has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later at the interview. Once you have filed the application, you will be given or mailed an appointment for an interview with a DCF worker.
Kansas Food Assistance Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
The DCF Office has to interview you and verify the provided information before determining if the household is eligible for Food Assistance Benefits.
Kansas Department for Children and Families lists examples of information needed at the interview:
- ID such as a birth certificate or driver’s license
- non-citizen documents if not U.S. Citizen
- social security numbers for everyone in the household;
- proof of earned and unearned income;
- proof of limited resources (bank checking and saving accounts)
To get you net income deductions for things like housing costs, child support payments, child-care costs, or monthly medical expenses over $35 for elderly or disabled people may be allowed.
The law limits the Food Assistance Benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-50 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week.
Food Assistance recipients in Kansas can be exempted from this provision if they are:
- Under 18 or 50 years of age or older;
- Responsible for the care of a child or incapacitated household member;
- Medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment or pregnant;
- Student at least half-time in a recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education;
- Participating and complying with work and registration requirement of the Employment and Training Program
- Participating in an alcohol or drug treatment program.
Applicants for Food Assistance in Kansas should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DCF office.
Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes of their household situation in a 6-months period in order to assure their participation in the Food Assistance Program.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the Food Assistance Benefits?
Approved Food Assistance applicants get an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) card – Kansas Vision card. The EBT card can be used as a debit card at any Kansas food stamps approved grocery stores and farmers markets. Food assistance benefits are deposited into an EBT account of the beneficiary each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.
Benefits are made available over the first 10 calendar days of every month, based on the first letter of the client’s last name:
First Letter of the Last Name is: A or B = benefits available on the 1st
First Letter of the Last Name is: C or D = benefits available on the 2nd
First Letter of the Last Name is: E, F, or G = benefits available on the 3rd
First Letter of the Last Name is: H, I, or J = benefits available on the 4th
First Letter of the Last Name is: K or L = benefits available on the 5th
First Letter of the Last Name is: M = benefits available on the 6th
First Letter of the Last Name is: N, O, P, Q, or R = benefits available on the 7th
First Letter of the Last Name is: S = benefits available on the 8th
First Letter of the Last Name is: T, U, or V = benefits available on the 9th
First Letter of the Last Name is: W, X, Y, or Z = benefits available on the 10th
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Kansas EBT Customer Service: 1-800-997-6666
How and Where to Use Food Stamp Benefits?
Households and individuals get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to use their food assistance benefits at any Kansas grocery store and farmers’ market that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food Assistance Benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food Stamp stores in the State of Kansas. 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 SNAP 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. Call 1-888-369-4777 for more information on the Kansas Food Assistance Program.
Kansas Food Assistance Benefits
Find more on what kind of food you can buy using your Kansas Food Assistance benefits…
Food Assistance Program | Eligibility | Apply | Approval | Benefits
Food Banks in Kansas
Kansas food banks play an important role in the overall Kansas food assistance effort to end hunger and food insecurity throughout the State of Kansas.
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 Bank Association of Kansas s such a non-profit organization that works to alleviate hunger in Kansas.
Kansas Food Banks
Food Pantries in Kansas
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 Kansas
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.
Each food pantry serves a designated local area and most of them require prior registration and approval before food can be served to a particular individual or a family.
WIC Program in Kansas
Kansas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals to Kansas pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children during times of important growth.
Kansas Women, Infants, and Children Program
School Meals in Kansas
School meals in Kansas are offered mainly through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
The Kansas 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.
Kansas School Lunch Program | Kansas School Breakfast Program
Special Milk Program in Kansas
Kansas 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 Kansas Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of Kansas.
Summer Food Program in Kansas
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is another Kansas food assistance program that provides free meals and snacks to help low-income Kansas 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 Kansas 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.
Kansas Summer Food Service Program
Senior Nutrition in Kansas
Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors with special checks to buy fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers’ markets. To qualify for Kansas senior nutrition special checks, the applicants must be 60 years of age or older and their gross household income must not exceed certain limits.
An application must be completed for each person in the household that wants to apply for the SFMNP benefits. Once approved, each beneficiary must reapply every year to continue participating in the Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Learn more about how the senior nutrition program works.
Kansas Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA