SNAP Benefits During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Crisis

This resource contains common questions and about SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 crisis for Tampa Bay area residents including Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

Apply for services by phone Monday-Friday, 9.a.m.-4:30 p.m., or apply online anytime.

To learn more about our services, visit Get Help or How Do I Apply? Am I Eligible?.


Jump to:


Extra Emergency SNAP Benefits

What you need to know

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is issuing emergency SNAP (food assistance or food stamp) supplements to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis. 

Will I get extra SNAP benefits?

If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP for your household, you will get a supplemental benefit up to the maximum SNAP grant. If you already get the maximum SNAP benefit, you will not get extra SNAP. This is because of a decision made by the federal government, not DCF.

Household size / Max SNAP

  • 1 / $194
  • 2 / $355
  • 3 / $509
  • 4 / $646
  • 5 / $768
  • 6 / $921
  • 7 / $1,018
  • 8 / $1,164
  • Each add’l member /+$146

Examples

Supplement

  • Family A gets $200/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will get a SNAP supplement of $309 – boosting SNAP to $509 (max for 3).
  • Individual A gets $16/mo in SNAP. This individual will get a supplement of $178 – boosting SNAP to $194 (max for 1).

No Supplement

  • Family B gets $509/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will NOT get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 3.
  • Individual B gets $194/mo in SNAP. This individual will NOT get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 1.

If I qualify for extra SNAP, when will I get it?

Eligible households who get SNAP for March and April 2020 will get 2 emergency SNAP supplement payments on their EBT card.

  • The first supplement will come on about April 3 or 4.
  • The second supplement will come on about April 8 for households that usually get SNAP between April 1-7. For households that get regular benefits after April 7, the supplement will be part of their scheduled benefit allotment.
  • The third supplement for May SNAP households will come at their usual scheduled time or by around May 11 for new recipients.

How do I learn how much I get in SNAP and if I get extra SNAP?

DCF will not send you a notice if you get extra SNAP. Check your balance and your monthly SNAP benefit amount by:

  • Checking your EBT balance online or by calling (888) 356-3281.
  • Calling DCF’s Customer Call Center at (866) 762-2237 or (850) 300-4323.

What if I need help food shopping?

Any member of your household can use the SNAP EBT card to food shop. Their name does NOT need to be on the card. You can also give your EBT card temporarily to a trusted friend or relative to food shop for you. The store should not inspect the card. The store should not refuse to serve any customer with an EBT card and PIN. You can also use your EBT card to shop for food online at Walmart or Amazon. You may be able to arrange curbside pick-up. If the groceries are delivered by Walmart or Amazon, your EBT card may not be used for the delivery fees. If you order above certain maximum amounts, the delivery fee may be waived.

What if I do not already get SNAP?

If you are low-income, apply now. If you are approved, you may also qualify for an extra SNAP payment.

There are several ways to apply:

  • The fastest way to apply is online.
  • DCF says that you can use a paper application by downloading and printing from this website. The completed paper application can be mailed to ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL, 34478-1770, or it can be faxed or hand-delivered to a customer service center.
  • In some areas, community partners may be open and able to help you apply. Call to confirm. 

What if I need meals for my school-aged children?

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered with 2-1-1 to activate a text line and call center open 24/7 which Florida families can contact to find free meals for children under 18 during the current COVID-19 school closures. To find a site, simply text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211, dial 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator, or visit the Summer BreakSpot website. For most sites, no application is required.

IMPORTANT: SNAP Work Requirements and Time Limits Temporality Suspended

DCF has suspended all SNAP (food assistance) time limits and work requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. No one in Florida should have a time limit or be required to work 80 hours in order to get or keep their SNAP for now. Work requirements are suspended through May 2020 and time limits are suspended throughout the entire COVID-19 public health emergency.

What if I lost SNAP in the past because DCF said I did not comply with work requirements or I already used my time limits?

If you were told that you couldn’t get SNAP in the past because of work requirements or time limits, you should apply again.

How do I reapply for SNAP?

There are several ways to apply:

  • The fastest way to apply is online.
  • DCF says that you can use a paper application by downloading and printing from this website. The completed paper application can be mailed to ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL, 34478-1770, or it can be faxed or hand-delivered to a customer service center.
  • In some areas, community partners may be open and able to help you apply. Call to confirm. 

What if I need food today?

For help with emergency food resources if your community:

If you think there is a mistake with your SNAP case, contact Bay Area Legal Services or find free local legal help at The Florida Bar Foundation.

What Other Resources Can Help Me?


Last updated: May 13, 2020

Still have questions?

If you live or have a case in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas or Sarasota counties, we may be able to help.

How do I apply? Am I eligible?

Call (800) 625-2257

to apply for service.

Or complete our online application

and we will call you back.