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Food and Nutrition Services

The Food and Nutrition Services Program (FNS) provides assistance to households with limited income and resources. Limits are different, depending on the number and ages of persons in the home. The FNS benefit amount is based on the amount of income available to the household members who buy and cook their food together. Benefits cannot be used to purchase items such as detergents, paper products, tobacco products, or alcoholic beverages. Our Applying for Benefits page has information on how to apply for FNS in Mecklenburg County.  

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is the method North Carolina uses to issue Food & Nutrition Services benefits. The FNS benefits are placed in an EBT or E-Funds account each month. FNS recipient households use a plastic magnetic stripe card, much like a credit or debit card, to buy food at USDA authorized grocery stores. Once an FNS application is processed, the head of household is sent an EBT card.

Recipients who are handicapped or physically unable to shop for themselves can name someone they trust as an authorized representative. The representative will get an EBT card that has full access to the recipient's account and be able to shop for them. To name such a representative, contact our Customer Connection Call Center at 704-336-3000

The WIC Program is a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The program serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. 

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