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Massachusetts Food Programs

Information on this web site is provided by Community Resources Information, Inc., an independent non-profit organization not affiliated with any government agency or program.

Massachusetts Food Stamps
- an overview -


For more information about food stamps in Massachusetts, click on the questions below:

What Are Food Stamps?

Food stamps are a type of government assistance to help low-income households in Massachusetts buy food. Food stamps can be used to buy almost any food item in any store where you usually shop for food. Massachusetts residents who use food stamps can spend the money they save to help pay their other bills.

Am I Eligible?

Food stamps are for U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens with limited incomes who buy food and make meals at home. People living in homeless shelters, group homes for the disabled, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and subsidized elderly housing are also eligible. Some people must work to qualify for food stamps, while others are exempt from the work requirement.

Eligibility Check

The Food Stamps Eligibility Check is an easy way for you to find out if you are likely to qualify for food stamps, by answering questions online about your household, your living situation, your income, and your expenses. You will see the results of the eligibility check right away, on your computer screen.

What Benefits Will I Get?

The amount of food stamps you get in Massachusetts depends on your household size, income, and expenses. You are expected to spend about 30% of your own income on food.

How Do I Apply?

There are several ways to apply for food stamps. You can apply at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office or at a food stamp outreach site in your area. You can also apply online, or you can download a copy of the food stamps application, fill it in at home, and send it to the DTA.

Rules and Proofs

You must follow certain rules when you apply for food stamps and you must provide proof of income, expenses, and immigration status.

How Do I Use Food Stamps?

The DTA will deposit your monthly food stamps benefits in an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) account. You will get an EBT card to use at store checkouts to pay for your food. Whenever you buy food with your card, your receipt will show the amount of money left in your account.

Bay State CAP

Bay State CAP is a special food stamp application process for certain people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Bay State CAP uses the same application as SSI and often provides more benefits than regular food stamps.

H-EAT (Heat and Eat)

H-EAT is a special fuel assistance program for food stamp households who do not pay a separate heating or cooling bill. Households in the H-EAT program usually get increased food stamp benefits and are eligible for discount rates from their utility companies.

Store Owner's Guide

Massachusetts store owners must get a food stamp permit to accept food stamps. To get a permit, you must file an application with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The food stamp permit is free. You must sell certain types of food in your store to get a permit.