How Much Can You Get on Food Stamps If You're Homeless?

by Lainie Petersen ; Updated July 27, 2017

You can get food stamp benefits even if you are homeless. Contact your local department of human services to ask about applying for benefits. Once approved, you can receive monthly food benefits, and may even qualify to use them to purchase hot meals.

Food Stamps

Food stamp benefits are available to low-income people who need help buying nutritious food for themselves. Each month, the benefits are loaded onto an electronic benefits transfer card (similar to a debit card) that you can use to buy food in designated grocery stores and farmer's markets.

Qualifying for Food Stamps

To qualify for food stamps, you must meet the income and financial resources requirements set by your state. If you need to receive food stamps for more than a few months, you may also have to participate in a work or work training program.

Benefit Amount

The amount of food stamps you receive depends on your income and other resources, along with the number of people that you need to feed with your benefit. If you are married or have children, you and they may be entitled to receive benefits as well. In 2011, the maximum benefits a single adult can receive is $200 per month.

Hot Foods

If you are homeless, you may be able to use your food stamp benefit to buy hot meals at approved restaurants and stores in your area. While food stamps are generally not approved for the purchase of prepared or hot foods, some states make exceptions for people who cannot cook their own meals, such as the elderly, the disabled or the homeless. Ask about this benefit if you don't have access to a kitchen.

About the Author

Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.