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SNAP/Link Benefits

See what SNAP has to offer and get answers to your questions on food stamps, eligibility and case management.

What is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program?


SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly called food stamps, is a government program that allows families and individuals the choice to purchase the food they need for healthy lives. In Illinois, SNAP benefits are provided on a Link card that looks and works like a debit card. SNAP benefits help you and your family afford the healthy food you need to thrive.

Need Assistance With Getting SNAP Food Benefits?

We’re here to help.

Our team will answer your questions and walk you through the process for receiving SNAP food benefits. That includes:

  • Determining your eligibility
  • Applying for benefits
  • Recertifying your eligibility
  • Managing your case

Contact our team to get started and receive benefits that can alleviate financial hardships.



Get Help Buying Food for Your Kids This Summer with Summer EBT

Your family can receive a debit card to purchase groceries for your children during the summer when school is out. Summer EBT provides eligible families with a monthly grocery benefit to feed their children during summer months when kids are not receiving free or reduced-price meals at school.


How to Access SNAP Food Benefits and Other FAQs

Can’t find an answer to your question? We’re here to help.

Reach out to us

You can apply online with the State of Illinois. If you need help or have questions, you can request a call and we will contact you by phone within 2-3 business days. You can also call the Food Depository directly Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 773-247-3663. We’ll answer your benefits questions, help you submit the application and provide support to ensure you get connected to eligible benefits.

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SNAP and receive benefits. For example:

  • Be a US citizen or a legal permanent resident for five years or more in the US. Non-eligible Parents or Legal Guardians of children under the age of 18 who are Legal Permanent Residents still apply for their children
  • Meet Department of Human Services (DHS) gross income limits for your household

Your “household” for SNAP is represented by anyone living together in the same residence; who purchases and prepares food together. For example, a roommate that you buy and make food separately from does not have to be included in your application.

You may need the following document to apply:

  • Proof of identity for head of household
  • Social security numbers for everyone who is applying for benefits
  • Proof of earned income from the past 30 days (If paid in cash, you can submit an Employer Verification Letter)
  • Proof of Illinois residency (ex. State ID, utility bill, rental lease) (If experiencing homelessness, you can submit a Collateral Statement as proof of Illinois residency)
  • Proof of citizenship/immigration status (ex. birth certificate, passport, legal permanent resident card, etc.)

Your application will be processed by an Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) case worker within 30 days. You may be asked to complete an interview in person or by phone and will receive a notification that tells you if your SNAP request has been approved or denied.

The amount of your SNAP benefits is decided by the IDHS based on factors like your income and expenses. The maximum a one-person household will be able to receive per month is $250 and the minimum allotted amount is $20.

SNAP promotes client choice by allowing clients to buy food based on their own nutritional needs and preferences, on demand.

Eligible foods include:

  • Breads and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Edible plants and seeds

Yes, however, you must have been a legal permanent resident for 5 years or more or have a special situation as outlined by IDHS, unless you are an immigrant under 18. DACA participants are not eligible to receive SNAP.

Work requirements for SNAP benefits are currently waived because of COVID-19.

IDHS takes into account your household’s last 30 days income. If you are concerned about being denied, give us a call at 773-247-3663 and we can help you find out if you are potentially eligible.

Non-citizens and their children may still be eligible for public benefits depending on their situation. Call us for a screening to find out what benefits and other resources are available for you.

Our food pantries and programs are available to everyone in Cook County, regardless of immigration status. Find a food pantry or program near you.


The Benefits of Having SNAP Benefits

In addition to providing access to nutritious food, receiving SNAP may also qualify you for other services.


SNAP participants can purchase groceries online for delivery or pick-up at participating grocers in Illinois.

Through the new SNAP Restaurant Meals Program in Illinois, eligible individuals may use their SNAP benefits to purchase hot meals from participating restaurants.

SNAP cardholders have access to all Prime benefits, discounted to just $6.99 per month.

SNAP and other benefit program recipients have access to low-cost internet service for $9.95 a month, including in-home and out-of-home Wi-Fi, discounted computers, digital literacy training and more.

With your SNAP benefits, you can quality for low-cost internet services from $5-10 per month.

People receiving SNAP benefits can gain free or reduced-price admission to hundreds of museums across the country, including popular Chicago museums.

SNAP recipients qualify for assistance with free school readiness and the Head Start program.

Do you receive SNAP benefits? Are you an older adult or do you have a disability?

The new Elderly, Disabled Simplified Redetermination Project (EDSRP) makes the SNAP/Link food benefits process easier for older adults and people with disabilities.

Explore Other Federal and State-Sponsored Programs

If you’re in need, assistance is available. SNAP is just one of many federal and state-sponsored programs that get resources into the hands of those who need them most.

Food & Medical benefits programs

Access the Benefits You Deserve

Food is a human right. Work with our team to get access to the food and medical benefits you need.