The Department of Children and Family (DCF) is responsible for distributing food stamps in Florida. The Florida food stamp program is included in ACCESS Florida, which also features a Medicaid program and a Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program. If you qualify for one of those programs, you may qualify for another. However, not everyone qualifies for every program.
Using Food Stamps in Florida
In 2008, all paper food stamps in the United States were discontinued. Instead, those eligible now receive food stamp cards.
Those electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards can be swiped and scanned in stores, just like credit cards. So, using Florida food stamps is fairly easy.
In order to buy groceries with your food stamp EBT card, often known as an ACCESS card, you need to find a participating store. Luckily, almost every big chain store accepts food stamps in Florida. Some of those stores include:
- 7 Eleven
Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard to locate a store in your area that accepts the program. Most participating stores will clearly display signs on their doors and windows that they take Florida ACCESS cards. If you’re not sure, ask at the service desk, check the store’s website, or call their customer service number.
Accepted and Unaccepted Items
You may be wondering what sorts of items you can buy with food stamps in Florida. Generally, the ACCESS Florida food stamp assistance program is meant to help you buy healthy food items. Those items include:
- Milk/Dairy Products
However, food stamps can also be used to purchase other food items, such as candy or bakery cakes, for special occasions. Nevertheless, there are many things that you can’t buy with food stamps in Florida. Some of those things include:
- Tobacco Products
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Paper Products
- Household Cleaners
- Any Other Non-Food Items
There are also some items that you may or may not be able to buy with food stamps in Florida. For example, certain energy drinks are allowed, if they have labels with nutrition facts. However, energy drinks that have been given a supplement status by the FDA cannot be purchased through the ACCESS Florida food stamp program.
Joining the Food Stamp Program
Joining the food stamp program is fairly easy, as long as you qualify. All you have to do is fill out the application and wait to be approved. You will need to supply information about your household income and expenses on your application. You will also need to prove that you are a U.S. citizen and a Florida resident.
Once you qualify for food stamps in Florida, you will receive your benefits each month for as long as you qualify. Visit http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ to get more information or fill out an application.