South Dakota Food Assistance
Food Stamps * Food Banks * Food Pantries * Soup Kitchens * WIC
School Meals * Special Milk * Summer Food * Senior Nutrition
In the State of South Dakota, there are many sources for help with food. The South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 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 South Dakota?
How to apply for South Dakota Food Assistance?
How does South Dakota Department of Social Services 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 South Dakota
Approx. of the total South Dakota population received Food Stamp Benefits in 2018
Recipients in June, 2018 of Food Stamps (SNAP) Benefits in South Dakota
Recipients in June, 2017 of Food Stamp (SNAP) Benefits in South Dakota
South Dakota 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 South Dakota, the SNAP is administered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federal grants and oversees the operation of South Dakota SNAP.
According to the South Dakota Department of Social Services, “SNAP helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence.”
Who is Eligible for South Dakota SNAP Benefits?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in South Dakota are based on residency, limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, work requirement and other factors depending on the applicant 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.
South Dakota SNAP is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
For the purpose of the SNAP, certain people must be included in one household account even if they purchase and prepare meals separately. Husbands and wives of any household member, their children under age 22 when living together, plus children younger than 18 who are dependents of an adult household member are all considered as a part of one household formation.
Anyone with limited income and resources may apply for food stamps but, in general, to qualify for South Dakota SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- State of South Dakota Resident – U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Work Requirement – unless exempted, each household member between 16-59 years old must work, participate in employment and training program, or be registered to work;
- Resource Test – 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);
- 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 South Dakota food stamp income limits per household size below.
Quick Eligibility Check
Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you may be eligible to get South Dakota SNAP benefits (Food Stamps).
The screening allows interested in getting South Dakota 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 a piece of pre-screening information, and you still have to make an application at your local South Dakota DSS office.
The Department of Social Services is the agency in South Dakota that can make the final determination regarding your SNAP application in this State and grant you benefits.
What is Maximum Dollar Amount of South Dakota SNAP Food Stamp Benefits?
If approved, the South Dakota 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 the table what are the maximum food assistance amounts a South Dakota household can get per month. The SNAP allowed benefits per month are called allotments.
How to Apply for SNAP Food Stamps in South Dakota?
To apply for SNAP benefits in South Dakota download and print the Economic Assistance Application form offered by the SD Department of Social Services.
The same application form can be used to apply for Medical Assistance and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which offers cash benefits to qualifying families.
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 and services.
Applicants for SNAP in State of South Dakota have the right to file an application in person, through an authorized representative, by fax, by mail, or online. The SNAP application may be submitted to any local South Dakota DSS 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, address, social security number, and your signature for the DSS office to accept it. All required information and its verification can be provided later at the interview or upon request.
If you are eligible, your SNAP Benefits will start from the date the DSS receives your application. However, if you provide more information, it will help DSS determine your eligibility more quickly.
The application process includes a SNAP eligibility interview and information verification. After you have submitted your application, the DSS office will contact you to set up an interview and verify the information on your application. If you are elderly, disabled individual, or unable to go to the office due to a hardship, call the DSS to request your SNAP eligibility interview conducted over the phone.
At the interview, you will meet with a DSS worker who will go over the information on your application and verify the required supporting documentation and proofs. You will also receive information from the worker or other staff about job requirements/opportunities and your responsibilities.
Within 30 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 South Dakota DSS finds you eligible for SNAP benefits, you will be entitled to receive food stamps from the date your signed application was received.
South Dakota SNAP applicants also have the option to apply for SNAP benefits online using DSS web portal – the South Dakota State Online Application System that enables users to apply for SNAP and other State programs and services.
South Dakota SNAP Food Stamps Approval, Rules, Proofs Required
Department of Social Services office worker has to interview you and verify the provided information before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP benefits. South Dakota DSS lists examples of information and proofs you may be asked to provide at the interview:
- Proof of identity (driver’s license, etc.), alien status
- Social Security numbers for all household members
- If employed, proof of income (wage stubs, earning statements, etc.) for the past 30 days
- If self-employed, proof of income (income tax return, self-employment ledgers, etc.)
- Proof of all other income (Social Security, SSI, workmen’s compensation, unemployment benefits, BIA general assistance, child support, rental income, VA benefits, interest income for last year, etc.)
- Information about checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit union accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, etc.
- Proof of shelter costs (rent or mortgage payment, lot rent, household, real estate taxes, utility bills – heat, electricity, water/sewage/garbage, telephone, etc.)
- Proof of dependent care expenses (statement from the provider, signed receipts, etc.)
- If anyone is age 60 or older, or permanently disabled, proof of medical expenses not paid by another source (health insurance, doctor bills, hospital bills, drug receipts, pharmacy statement, etc.)
- If paying child support payments, proof of obligation and payment (divorce decree/administrative order, canceled checks, clerk of courts receipt, etc.)
The law limits the SNAP 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.
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 food stamp recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits.
In South Dakota, if you are getting SNAP benefits and are able to work, you must register with the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) for Employment and Training (E&T) Program. SNAP recipients are expected to do job search or participate in the Job Search Assistance Program (JSAP) and other activities offered by the E&T Program.
Applicants waiting for SNAP benefits approval in South Dakota should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DSS office. Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes in their household situation in a period of time determined by the DSS office in order to assure their participation in the Food Assistance Program.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?
Approved for South Dakota SNAP benefits applicants get an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) card. The EBT card can be used as a debit card at any South Dakota 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 on the 10th day of every month.
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call South Dakota EBT Customer Service: 800-604-5099
How and Where to Use Food Stamp Benefits?
South Dakota SNAP benefits are provided via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the South Dakota SNAP are transferred into the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through South Dakota EBT Cards. Households and individuals can use their EBT cards and spend the benefits like cash at any South Dakota grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept SNAP (food stamp) benefits.
Check this list of South Dakota SNAP 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 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 1-877-999-5612 for more information on South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
South Dakota Food Assistance Program
Find more about the South Dakota Food Assistance Program
Search for Food Assistance by County and Town
Food Banks in South Dakota
South Dakota food banks play an important role in the overall South Dakota food assistance effort to end hunger and food insecurity throughout the State of South Dakota.
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 South Dakota is such a non-profit organization that works to alleviate hunger in South Dakota.
South Dakota Food Banks
Food Pantries in South Dakota
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 South Dakota
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 South Dakota
South Dakota Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals to South Dakota pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children during times of important growth.
School Meals in South Dakota
School meals in South Dakota are offered mainly through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
The South Dakota 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 South Dakota
South Dakota 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 South Dakota Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of South Dakota.
Summer Food Program in South Dakota
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is another South Dakota food assistance program that provides free meals and snacks to help low-income South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota
South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Learn more about how the senior nutrition program works.
Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA