Food and Nutrition Services

Food and Nutrition Services is a federal food assistance program that is to help “supplement” the food needs of individuals.  The program helps low-income individuals obtain a more nutritious diet by increasing food purchasing power for households that meet program eligibility requirements.  The amount of benefits received depends on the number of eligible persons in the household, the household situation, and the amount of monthly countable income determined after certain deductions are subtracted.

Benefits are issued monthly by an electronic benefits card. This card is used like a bank debit card. Each time that you use your card, the amount of your purchase is automatically deducted from your benefit balance. After each purchase, your receipt will show the amount of your remaining benefit balance for the month.  Benefits can only be used for approved food items.

Any of the following individuals may make an application for FNS:

  • Any adult individual in the FNS household.
  • Authorized Representatives designated by the household.
  • If there is no adult in the household, a legally emancipated minor may make and sign the application.

Applications can be made:

  • In person Monday-Friday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm at the Department of Social Services located at 150 Government Circle, Jefferson, NC.
  • By mail with completed Printable Application
    Mail to:
    Ashe County Dept. of Social Services
    150 Government Circle Suite 1400
    Jefferson, NC 28640
  • Fax to 336-846-5895
  • Email to
  • Online via ePASS at

A household may reapply at any time.

If you have questions about the Food and Nutrition Services program, call (336) 846-5719.