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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Your Budget


Resources to help you save


Supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP)


  • Each participating household receives an allotment of food benefits based on the USDA’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” This allotment is adjusted annually according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s analysis of the cost of food. Missouri electronic benefit transfer (EBT) is the method by which households receive and use food stamp benefits.
  • To see if you qualify for food stamps, a prescreening tool for the food stamp program is available online at
  • Anyone may apply for food stamps (no matter what a caseworker tells you). To apply, complete the food stamp application form and return it to your local Family Support Division (FSD) office. In Missouri, the application may be found at An interview must be completed to determine your eligibility for food stamp benefits. The interview can be by phone or in person.
  • For online information about food stamps, go to


Grow your own food


  • If you are on food stamps, you can buy seeds and plants with your EBT card.


Destroyed food bought with food stamps is replaceable


When disaster first strikes, there is often an outpouring of community and government support for those who have lost access to food. The Red Cross, FEMA, churches, friends, family and neighbors rush to help. But as time goes by, it can become more difficult to feed your family if you have lost everything.

If your family already receives food stamp benefits and your food is destroyed in a power outage or natural disaster, you can probably replace the food you bought with your food stamps through emergency benefits. There is an application online that you can print out and take to your Family Support Division office at

Even if you have never gotten food stamps before, if you lose your job, whether in a natural disaster or an economic crisis, you might become eligible for food stamps. If you’ve never used the program before or your county Family Support Division office is destroyed, go to the nearest county office.

There is an easy-to-use online Family Support Division county office locator at Enter your county or nearby counties in the drop-down menu to get contact information.


WIC (Women, Infants and Children)


If you fall into any of the categories below and meet income guidelines, you may be eligible to receive services and nutritious foods from the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program:

  • You are pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding (up to one year after delivery)
  • It has been six months or less since you delivered your baby, terminated your pregnancy or miscarried
  • You have a baby up to age 1 or children up to age five


To find a WIC agency, call TEL-LINK at 1-800-835-5465, or check with your local health department.


Local food



Food pantries


  • Food pantries are available in many Missouri communities. To locate one, contact a local church or your county Family Support office.


For families


  • Your family may be eligible for free or reduced priced lunches at school. School administrators can give you an application or tell you how to apply.


For seniors







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Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009