How do I apply for food stamps?

You will need to go to your local Department of Health and Human Services to apply for food stamps. Below is information that explains what you will need to bring with you and how to use your food stamps.

What are food stamps?
Food stamps are for low-income families to provide nutritious food for themselves and their family.

How does your family qualify for food stamps?

You may qualify for food stamps if you:

Have little or no income
Are unemployed
Work for low wages
Receive public assistance
Are elderly or disabled and live on a small income, and have limited resources

Your household must meet certain income and resource limits. The amount of food stamps you receive also depends upon the number of people in your household. Food stamps are only intended to be part of your food budget. Most households must spend some of their own cash along with their food stamps in order to buy enough food for a month.

How do I apply for food stamps?

Go to the local Department of Health and Human Services office, ask for a food stamp application.
You may also ask for a food stamp application over the phone or by having someone else pick one up for you.

Where are the local DHHS offices located?

Franklin County: 114 Corn Shop Lane, Farmington, Phone: (207) 778-8400 or 1-800-442-6382, Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.

Androscoggin County (Livermore/Livermore Falls Residents): 200 Main St., Lewiston, Phone: (207) 795-4300 or 1-800-482-7517, Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.

Kennebec County (Vienna residents): 221 State St., Augusta, Phone: (207) 287-3707.

What happens after you turn in the food stamp application?

If you qualify, you will receive food stamps within 30 days. If your household has little or no money and needs help right away, you may qualify for emergency services, and you may get your food stamps within a few days.

What do you have to bring with you when you are applying for food stamps?

Some form of identification.
Address-where you live. If you have no address, tell the food stamp office where you stay.
Income for ALL household members. This includes gross earnings before deductions.

You may be asked for more proof if any of the following apply:

Immigration status- Lawfully admitted alien status for each alien household member.
Current utility bills- If you claim utility costs in excess of the standard utility allowance.
Cost for baby sitting, day care or attended care- while searching for a job, training for work or working.
Medical expenses- Non-reimbursed costs over $35 a month for any person aged 60 years or older or disabled.


The food stamp office will send you a letter. The letter will explain how much in food stamp benefits you will receive. This letter will also tell you how long you will be getting your food stamps before you need to reapply. Unless you get your food stamps within a few days because you qualify for emergency services, you will get your food stamps no later than 30 days from the date you applied.

Don’t Qualify

The food stamp office sends you a letter that tells you why. If you think that your application was incorrectly denied or you did not receive the correct amount of food stamps, you should tell the worker at the food stamp office. If the worker does not agree with you, you can ask to have your case reviewed by a fair hearing official.

Is it important to report changes to the food stamp office?

Yes, it is important you report your changes in circumstances affecting your eligibility so your household receives the right amount of food stamps.

How long do you have to report a change to the food stamp office?

You must report changes in your circumstances 10 days after they occur.

What types of changes do you need to report?

Income changes.
Another child in the household.
A child moves from the household.
Address change.

How do you report a change?

A change report form.
By letter.
By telephone.
In person at your local office.

What happens if you don’t report a change and those changes put you over the amount for the guidelines?

If you receive extra food stamps because you did not report changes, you will have to pay the value of the food stamps back.

How do you use food stamps?

Cards that look like credit cards.
Buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

How will you know how much is on your food stamp card?

By calling the number on the back of the card (1-800-477-7428) and following the prompts.
On each receipt that you get back from the store.

Types of food that you can buy with food stamps

Breads and cereals
Fruits and vegetables
Seeds and plants that produce food for households to eat

What are non-food items you cannot buy with food stamps?

Pet food
Soap, paper products, and household supplies
Cigarettes (or any other tobacco product)
Vitamins and other medicines
Food that will be eaten in the store

What to bring with you when applying for food stamps:

Form of identification (i.e. driver’s license, Social Security card, or State I.D.)
Social Security Number.
Address of where you live, mailing address (if different from your street address).
Proof of residence.
Wage stubs or copies of them from the last 4 weeks (if you don’t have copies of them the DHHS office will make copies of them for your file).
Recent tax return (if self-employed).

Where can I find a food bank in the area?

Local food banks in the area are listed below. The food banks can help you with food, based on what your income is.

How do I receive food from a Food Bank?

Go to a local food bank and fill out an income eligibility form that the food bank volunteer will provide you. You will only need to fill this form out once. After you have filled out the income form, the food bank volunteer will make up a card with all of your information on it, including the date that you came in to get food.

How many times in a month can I receive food from a food bank?

Most food banks will give out one box of food a month, enough for a five - seven day emergency supply of food for each person. However, amounts and number of monthly visits varies from food bank to food bank.

Where are the Food Banks located?

Wilton Area Food Pantry: Service Area: Wilton, North Jay, Dryden, Weld, East Dixfield, and East Wilton. Phone: (207) 645-2190 (Kitty and Al McDonald) or (207) 645-4885 (church), PO Box 517, 600 Main St., Wilton, Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-12 p.m.

Tri-Town Ministerial Association Food Cupboard: Service Area: Livermore, Livermore Falls and Jay. Eaton Memorial United Methodist Church PO Box 314, 28 Church St., Livermore Falls, Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 2-4 p.m. Tuesday evenings 6-8 p.m.

Care & Share Food Cupboard: Gives area residents a three-day supply of emergency food per month. To receive food, a physical address is requested at the time of pick up. Service Area: Farmington, New Vineyard, New Portland, New Sharon, Temple and Chesterville. Phone: (207) 778-3833 (Care and Share), 645-2312 (Carolyn McLaughlin), 778-2037 (Janice David), or 778-0169 (John Craig), 201 Barlen St., Fairbanks School Meeting House, Fairbanks Rd., Farmington, Hours: Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday 12-2 p.m. Thursdays 4-6 p.m. (Food Bank is not open on holidays, when school is closed for vacations or cancellations, or on the weekends).

Carthage Town Office: Service Area: Carthage and Weld. Phone: (207) 562-8874 (town office), 562-7078 (Steve Brown), 703A Carthage Rd., Carthage, Hours: Open as needed.

Church of the Good Shepherd Food Cupboard: Service Area: Rangeley. Phone: (207) 864-3394 or 864-5855, PO Box 1, Main St., Rangeley, Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.-12 noon; last Tuesday of the month 4-6 p.m.

Clearwater Ministry Food Pantry: Service Area: West Mills, Industry and Chesterville. Phone: (207) 778-4523 or 779-1108, PO Box 111, New Sharon., Industry, Old Fire Station, West Mills, Hours: Monday 9-11 a.m. Wednesday 5-6:30 p.m.

Phillips Shared Ministry: Service Area: Phillips, Avon and Madrid. Phone: (207) 639-3366, United Methodist Church, Phillips, Hours: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays 9 a.m.-12 noon, Contact: Madeline Haines. 

United Methodist Economic Ministry: Service Area: Freeman, Strong, Kingfield, Salem and Carrabassett Valley. Phone: (207) 678-2611 (Kay Webb, Crystal Cook, or Bruce Taylor), RR1 Box 726, Rt. 142, 1458 Salem Road, Salem, Hours: 3rd or 4th Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Stratton/Eusits Town Office Food Bank: Service Area: Stratton, Eustis, Coplin, Coburn Gore, Wyman Township, and Carrabassett Valley. Phone: (207) 246-4411 (town office) or 246-6231 (Flo and John Caldwell), PO Box 154, Main St., Stratton, Hours: 3rd or 4th Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mt. Vernon First Baptist Church: Service Area: Mt. Vernon and Vienna. Phone: (207) 293-2273, 321 Pond Rd., Mt. Vernon, Hours: Saturday 10-12 p.m.

Abused Women’s Advocacy Project (AWAP): Individuals volunteer or participating in AWAP. Service Area: Franklin County. Phone: (207) 778-6107, 159 Main St., Farmington, Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays 8 a.m-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Or by appointment.

Food Stamps: Department of Health and Human Services Food Stamp Program:

A program for low-income individuals to get food that they need to support nutritional need. (207) 778-8400; 1-800-442-6382 (toll free), TDD: (207) 778-8439.

Franklin County: Phone: (207) 778-8400, TDD: (207) 778-843-9114 Corn Shop Lane, Farmington, Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.

Androscoggin County (Livermore/Livermore Falls residents): Phone: (207) 795-4300 or 1-800-482-7517, 200 Main St., Lewiston, Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.

Kennebec County (Vienna residents): Phone: (207) 624-8000 or 1-800-452-1926, 35 Anthony Ave., Augusta, Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5 p.m.