Food Assistance (SNAP)

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What is Food Assistance (SNAP)?

  • SNAP is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This program helps families stretch their food budgets to buy healthy food. It is designed to increase nutritional levels and safeguard the health and well-being of Fairfield County residents.  Benefits are distributed on a “Ohio Direction Card” which can be used like a debit card at the grocery store.
  • Healthy people under 60 also participate in Food Assistance Employment and Training (FAET) while receiving food assistance to help them gain work experience and move toward self-sufficiency.
  • Ultimately, food assistance helps families meet their basic needs while adults work toward financial stability.
  • Food Assistance (formerly known as the food stamp program) is known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

What is the Ohio Direction card?

  • Once families have been approved for food assistance, the Ohio Direction Card (also known as the Electronic Benefit Transfer EBT card) is issued and sent to the individual or family’s address. It can be used at most grocery stores in the area.
  • The card looks similar to and works like a credit or debit card. It can be used in most any food store checkout line. Check with the grocery store you go to most frequently and ask how your card will work.
  • When users make eligible grocery purchases, they simply swipe the card through a reader at the register; the amount is deducted from the total monthly benefit amount. Remember that “eligible purchases” means food or food products but excludes alcohol, tobacco and food prepared to eat immediately, such as food at restaurants.
  • To find out more information about the Ohio Direction Card, to check your account balance, review your transaction history, report that you are moving, or report a lost or stolen card call, 1-866-386-3071 or visit The Ohio Direction Card website.

What is the status of my case or application?

  • The State of Ohio Online Benefits portal (My Case) provides an easy way to check the status of your application or case for food, cash and medical assistance. You can also complete an interim report or reapplication and view case information, sometimes known as a “benefits printout”.
  • To check the status of your food, cash and medical assistance application, or view case information, follow the link below:
  • State of Ohio Online Benefits Portal
  • You can also check the status of your benefits and/or request text alert notifications through the Shared Services hotline at 1-844-640-6440.

How do I meet the work requirement?

  • Once a family or individual is approved for food assistance, adults of the family who are considered Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) must meet the work requirement in order to continue to receive food assistance.
  • An ABAWD is any individual who is:
    • At least 18 years old, but not yet 50,
    • Able-bodied,
    • Not pregnant, and
    • Not in an assistance group with a minor child.
  • There are several different ways to meet the work requirement.
    1. Work 20 hours per week.
    2. Participate 20 hours per week in a job search program (for a maximum of three months).
    3. Participate in a work experience program. The number of hours you must complete is the amount you are receiving in food assistance, divided by minimum wage.

How can I get emergency food assistance (food basket or box)?

  • Fairfield County 211: Can assist with providing a referral for an emergency food order. They can be contacted by dialing 211 or (740) 687-0500 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Community Action: Once a month a customer may request a food box by calling (740) 653-4146 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. Monday through Friday.   

Do I qualify?

  • Eligibility for food assistance is complex – based on family size, income and expenses – but both families and individuals may be eligible to receive food assistance.

    You may qualify for benefits if your household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Some households may qualify if they have incomes over the limit if someone in the household is elderly or disabled. To get a better idea of if you may qualify, use the USDA’s food assistance calculator or apply for food assistance.

Could I be eligible for the Food Assistance Program?

  • *Your eligibility for Ohio Food Assistance benefits depends on your gross income (before taxes), your household size, shelter expenses,current assets and other factors.
  • People in Household

    Gross Monthly Income Limits

    Maximum Amount of Food Assistance Per Month You Could Receive



















How do I apply?

  • You can call 1-844-640-6446 (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.) to complete an application over the phone
  • Complete and submit the following application: click here or apply online
  • In person at our agency during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
  • By mailing a completed application: FCJFS 239 W. Main St. Lancaster, OH 43130
  • By dropping a completed application in the agency drop box located in the front of our building, open 24 hours.
  • By faxing a completed application to 740-689-4848

What verifications are needed?

  • Identification (Drivers License or State ID)
  • Proof of citizenship, or alien registration card/I-94
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of all income (employment, child support, disability,
  • unemployment, etc.)
  • Proof of housing (rent/mortgage) costs
  • Proof of utility costs
  • Proof of medical costs if age 60 or older, or if disabled
  • Proof of disability (if applicable)
  • Additional verification may be requested or required

What happens after I submit my application?

  • You will receive a letter in the mail directing you to call us at a specified time. Please call at your specified appointment time.
  • You can also now call 1-844-640-6446 during and outside normal business hours to receive a current benefit summary and to check the status of your case. You can also sign up for text message notifications regarding your benefits. 

Nondiscrimination 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:, 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:
    • mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
      1400 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
    • fax: (202) 690-7442
    • email:

Community Resources

    Special Offers:

  • Access from AT&T currently offers SNAP customers Internet for $10/month, please click here for additional information.

We are required to determine eligibility within 30 days of your application.

For additional information on the food assistance program please click here
For additional information on general Program Enrollment & Benefit Information please click here