Food Supplement

Food Supplement (also known as SNAP) provides a monthly benefit to help low-income households purchase nutritious food.

If you receive Food Supplement you may also be eligible to participate in Maine SNAP-Ed or the Food Supplement Employment and Training Program.

What do I need to do to apply?

Eligibility for Food Supplement is based on income, assets, expenses and household size.  You will need to fill out an application, complete an interview and provide verification of your household’s income, identity, citizenship status, assets and other items depending on your household circumstances.

How do I apply?

Option 1: Apply online through My Maine Connection.

Option 2: Download and mail an application.

Office for Family Independence
114 Corn Shop Lane
Farmington, ME 04938

Option 3: E-mail an application to Farmington.DHHS@Maine.gov

Option 4: Fax an application to (207) 778-8429.

 

Temporary Changes to Benefits

In response to COVID-19 and related laws, the Office for Family Independence has made a number of temporary changes to safety net programs including Food Supplement.  Read our Summary of Changes (PDF).

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Family Independence, has been approved by the Food and Nutrition Service to issue Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to qualified children.  Children from ages 0 – 5 will receive P-EBT benefits retroactively on a month-by-month basis from October 2020 through June 2021 if they were both in a SNAP eligible household and one school in their county was not utilizing a predominately in-person learning model.  Children who were eligible for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program will receive benefits retroactively from September 2020 through June 2021 on a month-by-month basis if their school was utilizing a predominately hybrid or fully remote learning model.  The benefit for fully remote learning models is ~ $119 per child per month.  The benefit for a hybrid learning model is ~ $59 per child per month.  Benefits for September 2020 through June 2021 were issued from July 15th to August 17th 2021.  Current and recent SNAP recipients will receive P-EBT on their EBT card.  P-EBT benefits for other children will be sent to each child on a P-EBT card. 

  • All EBT and P-EBT cards are currently taking 10 - 14 days to get to recipients due to postal delays. 

  • This page will be updated as more information (such as issuance dates) becomes available. 

  • Please note that neither OFI nor the DOE can take P-EBT requests or applications.  If you need immediate nutrition assistance, apply for SNAP or contact 211 for information on food pantries in your area.

  • Maine has been approved to run a summer P-EBT program.  Details will be provided when available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do children get different benefit amounts?

Benefits for school-age children that received assistance through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program are based on their schools learning model so children in the same households can be issued different P-EBT benefit amounts.  For school specific information check the spreadsheet.  Information on additional months will be added as it becomes available.

My child learned remotely, but his/her school learning was mostly or all in-person.  Does my child get a P-EBT benefit?

No.  Benefits are issued based on the schools learning model, not an individual child’s learning model.   For school specific information check the spreadsheet.  Information on additional months will be added as it becomes available.

My child learned in-person all or most of the year.  Why did I get a P-EBT benefit?

Benefits are issued based on the schools learning model not the individual child’s learning model.  You are therefore eligible to use the P-EBT benefits.   For school specific information check the spreadsheet.  Information on additional months will be added as it becomes available.

My child received free lunch at school and their school was either fully remote or hybrid.  Why did my child not get a benefit?

Many schools provided meals to all children funded by the summer feeding program.  School-aged children need to have been eligible under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program to be eligible for P-EBT.  You can still apply for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program through your school. 

Will P-EBT benefits be one payment for all the children or separate amounts for each child?

Eligibility for P-EBT is based on individual children and children may receive different benefits based on school learning models.  Children in the same household may have different benefits based on different school learning models.

How do I set up my pin for my P-EBT card?

Call the number on the back of the P-EBT card.  You will need to enter the child’s date of birth and the last for digits of their Social Security Number (SS#).  If the child does not have a SS# or it was not provided to us you will need to enter 9999.

Why did I receive multiple cards?

P-EBT cards are issued for each eligible child not on SNAP since January 2021.  If not on SNAP since January 2021 or earlier you will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible child.

I didn’t ask for P-EBT and I do not want it.  What do I do with the P-EBT card?

Please destroy the card.  P-EBT cards are for the individual child.  It a prosecutable offense to give the card and/or benefits away.

Other people received P-EBT on their EBT card.  Why don’t I have my card(s) or benefits yet?

P-EBT cards can take 14 days or longer to be delivered due to postal delays.  If you have not received card you can contact the Department at Farmington.DHHS@Maine.Gov

Will P-EBT benefits be issued to the P-EBT card I received last year?

No.  New P-EBT cards will be issued to each eligible child.

Do home-schooled children qualify for P-EBT

No. To qualify, school aged children must be enrolled in a school that offers meals through the USDA National School Lunch Program and be eligible for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program.

Can I get P-EBT if my SNAP case closed?

Yes.  If you had an open SNAP case February 2021 or later P-EBT benefits will go on your SNAP EBT card.  If you do not have a card you can call 1-800-477-7428 to request a new card.  Please note that due to postal delays cards may take 14 days or longer to be delivered.  If your SNAP case closed prior to February 2021 and your child was eligible for P-EBT you will receive a P-EBT card.

Is P-EBT issued every month over the summer?

P-EBT benefits for September 2020 through June 2021 were issued from July 15th to August 17th 2021.  If your child was found eligible for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program through the end of summer 2021 they will be eligible for summer P-EBT.  Issuance dates and other updates will be posted to this website as they become available.

If I got it last year is it automatic this year?

No.  You would need to have been eligible for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

When will my child get P-EBT?

Benefits for September 2020 through June 2021 were issued from July 15th to August 17th 2021.  Further Issuance dates and other SNAP updates will be posted to this website when available.  Please remember it may take 14 days or longer to receive a EBT or P-EBT card due to postal delays.

Where can I apply for P-EBT?

Neither OFI nor DOE can take P-EBT applications or requests.  Eligibility for P-EBT and the schools learning model will be sent from the school to the DOE.  The DOE will submit this information to OFI for issuance.  Schools can accept applications for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program through the end of August.

Online Purchase Options Available for Maine SNAP Recipients:

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is excited to announce that Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients are now be able to purchase eligible food items online at participating retailers using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

How to use your EBT card for online purchases

SNAP benefits can be used at Amazon and Amazon Fresh, BJ's Wholesale Club, Hannaford to go, and Walmart for delivery or curbside pick-up purchases. 

  • Amazon, BJ's, and Hannaford accept SNAP food benefits only.
  • Walmart accepts both SNAP and EBT cash benefits.
SNAP recipients will be able to purchase the same food items online as they can in the store.  SNAP benefits cannot be used for delivery charges.
  • Amazon waives delivery fees on purchases of $35 or more.
  • Shoppers can visit their local BJ's, Hannaford, or Wal-Mart store online to find out what pick-up or delivery options are available near them.
  • Contact your local grocery store to see if they chose curbside pick-up as an option.  Any grocer is allowed to purchase wireless EBT equipment which makes curbside pick-up possible.
For more information, please see these FAQs:
Information for Retailers

Current SNAP-eligible retailers interested in participating in online EBT purchases should visit the USDA website for more information, including program requirements and instructions for enrollment.

Post-Secondary Student Eligibility

The Office for Family Independence (OFI) has created a Community College Verification Form (PDF) to simplify verifying Food Supplement eligibility for post-secondary students at community colleges.  Community colleges can verify students are enrolled in an associate’s degree or certificate program that is considered a “career or technical education program”, as defined by the federal Carl D. Perkins Act (most certificate and associate degree programs fit the definition), OR a course the community college has determined will make the student more employable.  This information has been conveyed to Navigators at community colleges so that they are better able to assist OFI in the fight to reduce hunger.  Navigators are campus based staff who assist eligible students throughout their time in school. 

USDA Non Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.  Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
  3. email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Maine SNAP-Ed

In SNAP-Ed, participants receive nutrition education services with helpful information on how to eat healthy on a budget.  Learn more about SNAP-Ed.

SNAP-Ed has Gone Cellular

Sign up to get text messages from Maine SNAP-Ed and they will help you and your family shop, cook and eat healthy on a budget.  You can look forward to simple tips for healthy eating, low-cost recipes, grocery shopping ideas, tips on getting the family to drink more water and more.  Sign up at Notifications - Maine SNAP-Ed (mainesnap-ed.org) today to get text messages sent straight to your phone.

The Food Supplement Employment and Training Program (FSET)

FSET helps connect Food Supplement participants with job training and education. There are lots of opportunities available at no cost. Learn more about FSET.