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Applying for Food Assistance/Eligibility
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Phone: (828) 695-5600


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3030 11th Avenue Drive SE
Hickory, NC 28602

Mailing Address:
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

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Office Hours:
Mon - Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
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The Food Assistance Program is designed to promote the general welfare and to safeguard the health and well being of the nation's population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households.


Anyone may apply for food assistance: eligibility criteria will be discussed during the interview process. Applications for Food Assistance are taken Monday through Friday from of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Department of Social Services, 3030 11th Ave. Dr. SE Hickory, NC 28602. If you are disabled or elderly you may have someone you trust to apply on your behalf, or you may call our office at 828-695-4419 for a telephone interview. If you choose to ask someone to apply for you, you may complete the Designation of Authorized Representative form and have your representative bring it to the interview. Authorized Representative Form

Forms that are needed to begin the application process are:
Application Form
Household Information Form

The information needed to determine eligibility is:

  • Identification such as valid driver's license or ID card
  • Social Security Cards for all members of household included in Food Assistance Program
  • Verification of all income for members of household included in the Food Assistance Program
  • Verification of Rent or Mortgage Expenses
  • Proof of medical expenses for household members receiving Social Security Disability or age 60 and older

Additional information may be needed and will be discussed during the interview.

For more information about how to apply go to


All applicants are screened for emergency benefits during the interview process. An emergency is determined by assessing the household's situation for the entire month the application was submitted. If the household is determined in need of emergency benefits they will receive their initial benefit amount within 7 days. If a household is determined ineligible for emergency benefits they will receive their benefits within 30 days of the date of application.


The two main areas of eligibility are household size, resources and household income. Once the caseworker has determined that the household meets each of these eligibility factors, the shelter and utility expenses will be considered. Other deductions Click for screening toolthat may be allowed are childcare expenses, legally ordered child support payments and medical deductions.


In an effort to increase service delivery and access to our programs, the Department of Social Services is pleased to offer this screening tool. You understand that completing this questionnaire provides only a preliminary screening and does not guarantee actual eligibility for assistance. To apply for benefits and receive final determination, you must complete an application and be interviewed by a Food Assistance caseworker.