New Mexico Food Assistance
Food Stamps * Food Banks * Food Pantries * Soup Kitchens * WIC
School Meals * Special Milk * Summer Food * Senior Nutrition
In the State of New Mexico, there are many sources for help with food. The New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance 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 New Mexico?
How to apply for New Mexico Food Assistance?
How does New Mexico Division of Family Development 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 New Mexico
New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition 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 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.
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 New Mexico, the SNAP is administered by the Human Services Department (HSD) through its Income Support Division (ISD). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federal grants and oversees the operation of New Mexico SNAP. According to New Mexico HSD “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial assistance to eligible people with low incomes and resources purchase food products. SNAP benefits are simple to use when purchasing food products at the grocery store.”
Approx. of the total New Mexico population received Food Stamp Benefits in 2018
Recipients in June, 2018 of Food Stamps (SNAP) Benefits in New Mexico
Recipients in June, 2017 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in New Mexico
Who is Eligible for New Mexico SNAP Benefits?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in New Mexico, like in most States, are based on residency, limited income, limited liquid resources, household size and composition, work requirement, and other factors depending on the applicant’s case. 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 using the federal grants to implement SNAP on State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the low‐income local population.
New Mexico Food Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
New Mexico applicants for SNAP benefits must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- State of New Mexico Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, household members between 16-59 years old must work, participate in employment and training program, or be registered to work;
- Income Test – 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 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, and others. See the table with New Mexico food stamp income limits per household size below.
New Mexico residents may be automatically or so-called categorically eligible for SNAP benefits if they already participate in other means-tested assistance programs. Getting any benefits funded by federal grants from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for SNAP benefits categorically eligible, thus bypassing the federal standards for income and assets eligibility.
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 federal grant-funded benefit that can make SNAP applicants categorically eligible. Currently, New Mexico uses the gross income of 165% or less of the FPL for broad categorical eligibility. More information on New Mexico SNAP eligibility can be obtained by calling 1-800-432-6217.
Quick Eligibility Check
New Mexico residents interested in food assistance can use this Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool, provided by the Federal Government, to find out if they might be eligible to get the New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows potential applicants for New Mexico food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits.
Using the tool you are notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire, but you still have to make and sign an application at your local County ISD office, which is the authority that can make the final determination regarding your case.
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 Maximum Dollar Amount of New Mexico SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
If approved, the New Mexico SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and its monthly net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household. Check in the table what are the maximum food assistance amounts a New Mexico household can get per month. The SNAP allowed benefits per month are called allotments.
How to Apply for SNAP (Food Stamps) in New Mexico?
To apply for SNAP benefits in New Mexico you can download the “Application for Assistance” from Human Services Department (HSD) page, print it and make it as a paper application that can be mailed or turned in any of the local Income Support Division (ISD) offices.
The same application form can be used to apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash Assistance, Medicaid, Medicare Savings Program, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
More than one assistance program in an application is a common practice by a lot of the States since most of the people in need of food stamps are likely to be in need of cash and other assistance.
If you are to file a paper Application for Assistance – just fill out all required information on the application and mail or turn it in any local Income Support Division office.
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, social security number, and your signature for the ISD to accept it. All required information and its verification can be provided later at the interview or upon request.
To apply for SNAP benefits in New Mexico you can also do it by using the YES New Mexico web portal offered by the Human Services Department. Online, you apply for SNAP and other assistance and services. The web portal allows you to check and renew your benefits and report any changes.
The application process includes a SNAP eligibility interview and information verification. After you have submitted your application, an ISD worker will contact you to set up an interview and verify the information on your application. If you are an elderly or disabled individual and cannot come to the local ISD office for an interview, you may request to have your SNAP eligibility interview conducted over the phone.
Before a decision is made an ISD worker has to verify all the paperwork and interview you. During the interview, you will receive information about SNAP work requirements and your responsibilities if participating in the program.
Within 45 days of the interview, if eligible, you will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long your household is eligible for before a review of the case is due, along with reporting requirements.
The SNAP benefit amount depends on the household size and its net income – that is all countable income minus all allowable deductions.
If you are eligible for SNAP benefits, you will be entitled to receive food stamps from the date your signed application was received.
New Mexico SNAP (Food Stamps) Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Income Support Division office worker has to interview you and verify the provided information before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP benefits.
New Mexico HSD lists examples of information and proofs you may be asked to provide at the interview:
- Proof of Identity:
- Birth Certificate;
- Citizenship/naturalization records;
- Indian census records;
- Drivers’s License or;
- U.S. Passport.
- Social Security Number for all Household Members included in the Application
- Proof of Residency:
- Current rent agreement – receipt (with landlord’s name and phone number, your mailing address, and amount of rent)
- Utility bill
- Letter addressed to you at your address
- Immigration Status if you are not U.S. Citizen:
- Current I-94 or
- Current I-551 (green card).
- Things you transferred:
- Recent statement, or
- Letter of value
- Earned Income:
- Pay stubs for the prior month, showing gross wages and deductions
- Last year’s tax records if you are self-employed
- Unearned Income:
- Social Security
- Unemployment Compensation
- Worker’s Compensation
- Veterans Administration
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- Public Employees Retirement
- Medical Bills – for people over age of 60 or people who are disabled
- Child Support – If you are under a court order to pay child support and you are paying it, you need proof of the following:
- Who you pay
- Child(ren)’s name(s)
- Court order number
- Written statements from the custodial parent
Additional information and proof may be required by your caseworker depending on your application and household situation. In case you are not able to provide all the information during the SNAP application interview, you may be given time to provide the required proof.
Applicants for SNAP benefits in New Mexico should get a response within 45 days from the date they submitted their application to the Income Support Division. When start getting food stamps benefits, households must report any changes of their situation in a set by the agency period of time in order to assure their participation in the New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
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 Employment and Training Program is to help the SNAP benefits recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits.
The Human Services Department (HSD) operates New Mexico’s Employment and Training (E&T) program that assists SNAP recipients to gain skills, training or work experience that increase the individual’s ability to obtain and keep employment.
In New Mexico, all SNAP applicants are automatically registered for work when they sign the Application for Assistance (Form HSD 100). SNAP Benefits recipients who are not exempted for work registration must start the process that includes an interview, orientation, and assessment for the E&T Program.
SNAP benefits recipients in New Mexico 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, or medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment, or pregnant. More details on who is exempt from SNAP work registration and employment and training programs can be found by calling: 1-800-432-6217.
The E&T Program provides eligible participants with the opportunity to engage in independent job search, on the job training, and get work experience and transition to economic independence.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
Approved for New Mexico SNAP benefits applicants get an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) card. The EBT card can be used as a debit card at any New Mexico 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 20 days every month, based on the last two digits of the SSN:
SSN number ends in: 11, 31, 51, 71, 91 = benefits available on the 1st of the month
SSN number ends in: 01, 21, 41, 61, 81 = benefits available on the 2nd of the month
SSN number ends in: 12, 32, 52, 72, 92 = benefits available on the 3rd of the month
SSN number ends in: 02, 22, 42, 62, 82 = benefits available on the 4th of the month
SSN number ends in: 13, 33, 53, 73, 93 = benefits available on the 5th of the month
SSN number ends in: 03, 23, 43, 63, 83 = benefits available on the 6th of the month
SSN number ends in: 14, 34, 54, 74, 94 = benefits available on the 7th of the month
SSN number ends in: 04, 24, 44, 64, 84 = benefits available on the 8th of the month
SSN number ends in: 15, 35, 55, 75, 95 = benefits available on the 9th of the month
SSN number ends in: 05, 25, 45, 65, 85 = benefits available on the 10th of the month
SSN number ends in: 16, 36, 56, 76, 96 = benefits available on the 11th of the month
SSN number ends in: 06, 26, 46, 66, 86 = benefits available on the 12th of the month
SSN number ends in: 17, 37, 57, 77, 97 = benefits available on the 13th of the month
SSN number ends in: 07, 27, 47, 67, 87 = benefits available on the 14th of the month
SSN number ends in: 18, 38, 58, 78, 98 = benefits available on the 15th of the month
SSN number ends in: 08, 28, 48, 68, 88 = benefits available on the 16th of the month
SSN number ends in: 19, 39, 59, 79, 99 = benefits available on the 17th of the month
SSN number ends in: 09, 29, 49, 69, 89 = benefits available on the 18th of the month
SSN number ends in: 10, 30, 50, 70, 90 = benefits available on the 19th of the month
SSN number ends in: 00, 20, 40, 60, 80 = benefits available on the 20th of the month
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call New Mexico EBT Customer Service: 1-800-843-8303
How and Where to Use the SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits?
New Mexico SNAP benefits are provided via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the New Mexico SNAP are transferred into the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through New Mexico EBT cards. Households and individuals can use their EBT cards and spend the benefits like cash at any New Mexico grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Check this New Mexico Food Stamps Stores Near You 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 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 1-800-432-6217 for more information on New Mexico Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
New Mexico Food Assistance Program
Find more about New Mexico Food Assistance Program
Search for Food Assistance by County and Town
Food Banks in New Mexico
New Mexico food banks play an important role in the overall New Mexico food assistance effort to end hunger and food insecurity throughout the State of New Mexico.
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 New Mexico is such a non-profit organization that works to alleviate hunger in New Mexico.
New Mexico Food Banks
Food Pantries in New Mexico
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 New Mexico
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.
WIC Program in New Mexico
New Mexico Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals to New Mexico pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children during times of important growth.
School Meals in New Mexico
School meals in New Mexico are offered mainly through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
The New Mexico 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 New Mexico
New Mexico 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 New Mexico Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of New Mexico.
Summer Food Program in New Mexico
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is another New Mexico food assistance program that provides free meals and snacks to help low-income New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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.
Senior Nutrition in New Mexico
New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Learn more about how the senior nutrition program works.
Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA