Tennessee Food Stamps

In Tennessee, the Food Stamp Program is administered by the Department of Human Services. The program is designed to provide nutritional assistance benefits to children and families, the elderly, disabled and unemployed. To receive food stamp benefits in Tennessee, you must first determine if you’re eligible. You must meet certain tests for residency, citizenship, work, resources and income. A detailed breakdown of each eligibility requirement is available online.

Once you’ve determined you’re eligible, you can proceed with applying for food stamp benefits. The easiest way to apply is online. Alternatively, you can print the application, complete it and return it to a local Department of Human Services county office. You will be contacted by a DHS caseworker who will ask for documentation verifying your information. You should receive a notice in the mail within 45 days of your application date notifying you of your eligibility decision. If you’re approved, you will receive an EBT card. In Tennessee, these are referred to as Benefit Security Cards. Benefits are deposited into your EBT account each month and can be used to purchase eligible food items.


1. What should I do if I lose my EBT card?

If your EBT card is lost or stolen, you should call EBT Customer Service at 1-888-997-9444.

2. Who can I contact for more information about the Food Stamp Program?

Call the Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311-4287 for more information.

3. What income limits are there to receive food stamp benefits?

A detailed breakdown of the income limits for SNAP benefits is available online.

4. Where can I find statistics on food stamp participation?

A breakdown of issuance numbers for December 2013 by county is available at their website.

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: Tennessee Food Stamps.