In Rhode Island, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Human Services. This program aims to help individuals and families buy food to meet their basic nutritional needs. SNAP benefits are available for those who are unemployed or working, those preparing for work or even those who are receiving a pension or are homeless. The state of Rhode Island also has a unique program called the Food Access Project which allows eligible elderly, disabled and homeless SNAP participants to use their benefits to purchase meals at participating restaurants. To receive SNAP benefits, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. To find out if you’re eligible, use this pre-screening tool.
Once you’ve determined you’re eligible, you should apply for food stamp benefits. The state of Rhode Island offers a few different ways to apply for food stamp benefits. You may apply online or print the SNAP application and return it to your local DHS SNAP office. This link provides an outline of other documents you’ll need when applying for food stamp benefits. After you’ve submitted your application, you will have an interview with DHS. If you are approved, you will be given or mailed an EBT card and be asked to select your PIN. Your EBT card is used like any debit card; simply swipe at the register and enter your four-digit PIN to make purchases of eligible food items.
1. How can I check my EBT account balance?
To check your EBT account balance, simply log on to their website and enter your card number.
2. How long does it take to be approved for benefits?
The DHS has 30 days to determine your eligibility. If you qualify, you can receive expedited benefits within seven days of reviewing your application.
3. Who can I contact with more information regarding SNAP in Rhode Island?
If you have additional questions, please call the SNAP Outreach Project at 1-866-306-0270.
4. What should I do if my EBT card is lost, stolen or damaged?
If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, you must call your local DHS office. For a list of contact information, click here.
5. Are there items that I cannot buy with SNAP benefits?
Yes. Federal law prohibits you from buying alcohol, tobacco, household items, vitamins and medicines, pet food and hot foods with food stamp benefits.
Contact: Rhode Island Food Stamps.