Food stamps – SNAP

For more than 40 years, SNAP has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net. It is the first line of defense against hunger and is a powerful tool for improving nutrition among low-income people.

Benefits come to the household via electronic debit cards, known as Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards which can be used in more than 246,000 approved retail stores nationwide to purchase food.

To get SNAP benefits, households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests:

  • Resources
  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Employment Requirements
  • Special Rules for Elderly or Disabled
  • Immigrant Eligibility

For more details about eligibility see this page.

Generally, students attending an institution of higher education (i.e., college, university, trade/technical school) more than half-time are only eligible for SNAP if they meet an exemption. The institution of higher education determines what is considered ‘half-time’ enrollment. Students who meet an exemption must also meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements.

Use these resources to help you apply for Basic Food (SNAP):

WA 2-1-1

2-1-1 is a free confidential community service and your one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, health, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. Dial the three digit number 2-1-1 on your phone or Find Help here. If you are outside of Washington or have a problem dialing the number 2-1-1, please dial 1-877-211-9274.

University district food bank

For 32 years, the University District Food Bank has helped prevent hunger in northeast Seattle neighborhoods. The food bank operates a walk-in food bank offering food, toiletries, baby formula, diapers and pet food to area residents.

Affordable housing

King County Housing Authority provides a free website where you can search available housing options in King County, Washington.


The YWCA of King and Snohomish counties offers a variety of programs to assist individuals and families overcome poverty, homelessness, violence and discrimination. Services include emergency shelter, affordable housing, economic empowerment, domestic violence support, youth programs, health care access, and much more.

Community health centers

King County community health centers help assure better access to health care for people living in King County. The centers offer primary medical and dental care to those who would not otherwise get it.