If you are looking for help with Florida food assistance and SNAP benefits, we can help. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about Tampa Food Stamps.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a benefits assistance program that helps limited-income households purchase the food they need for good health.
If you live in Hillsborough County and are struggling with food insecurity, there is help available to you. We will provide you with information on Florida food stamps eligibility requirements, how to apply for benefits, renew your benefits, My ACCESS Florida login help, and DCF contact information.
For help with Tampa food stamps and all of the topics listed above, please continue reading below.
Tampa Food Stamps Guide for 2022
Before we get into food stamps Florida eligibility requirements, let’s review who is eligible to apply for SNAP benefits.
After that, we will review each of the eligibility guidelines in detail, including the FL food stamps income limit.
Once we’ve covered eligibility for food stamps Florida, we will walk you through the steps to apply for benefits in Tampa.
We will also walk you through how much you are likely to receive in food stamp benefits if you are approved.
Additionally, we will review the Florida SNAP renewal process in Tampa and what you need to know to successfully complete your recertification.
Furthermore, we will explain how you can use your EBT card to buy food at grocery stores, restaurants and fast food places if you are eligible.
Lastly, we will provide the Florida DFCS contact information, including the phone number and mailing address. You can use this information to get additional help with any questions about the FL Food Stamps Program.
What is Florida SNAP?
The Florida Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps is the state’s food assistance program.
The Florida Food Stamps Program provides low-income individuals and households with monthly cash benefits to purchase nutritional food.
Eligibility for Florida SNAP, as well as benefit amount, is based on your household’s size and income level.
A household can be one person, a group of people, a family, or any combination of people that buy and prepare food together.
Children living with their parents are considered part of the same household until age 22.
Furthermore, many legal non-citizens are eligible for Food Stamp benefits in Florida.
Also, even if you can’t get FL SNAP benefits for yourself, other members of your household may be eligible.
Once approved monthly benefits are provided on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that works just like a bank debit card. Your Florida EBT Card can be used to buy food at most grocery stores and markets (including some Farmers Markets).
Food Stamps in Tampa Florida
In Hillsborough County, the Food Stamps Program is managed by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).
In addition to food stamp benefits, the Florida DCF also handles Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), Medicaid, Medicaid for Pregnant Women, Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP), and Refugee Services.
Furthermore, My ACCESS Florida is the state website used to apply for and manage your assistance benefits online.
We will walk you through the steps to create your ACCESS Florida online account and complete the My ACCESS Florida login.
Who is Eligible for Food Stamps in Tampa?
The categories of people that are eligible for food assistance in Florida include:
- Any Florida household or individual (including homeless) with no or low income
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
- College students who meet eligibility requirements
- Legal permanent residents and qualified immigrants
- Elderly (age 60 or older) and disabled household members
Food Stamps Florida Eligibility Guidelines for 2022
For help figuring out if your household qualifies for food assistance help, please carefully review the eligibility guidelines below.
Here’s what you’ll need to apply for FL Food Stamps:
Proof of Identity
Applicants must provide proof of their identity to show that they are the person they claim to be.
Identity may be verified through a variety of documents, including but not limited to,
- Government-issued ID or Driver’s License
- Work or School ID
- Voter Registration Card
- Birth Certificate
Social Security Numbers
Households applying for food stamp benefits in Florida must provide the Social Security Number (SSN) for each household member, including children.
If you do not have a SSN but have applied for one, then proof of your application is also eligible.
Household members that are not eligible for Florida food stamps do not have to provide or apply for a Social Security Number.
The applicant must live in the state of Florida to qualify for Tampa Food Stamps.
Individuals without a permanent residence or a fixed mailing address can get SNAP benefits as long as they can provide proof of residency.
There are special rules for able-bodied adults without dependent children (ABAWD) in Florida.
If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents between the ages of 18 and 50, you must meet certain requirements to receive benefits for more than three consecutive months.
You must register for work or be working at least 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours per month to receive FL Food Stamp benefits.
U.S. citizens and legal non-citizens are eligible for Food Stamps in Tampa.
Furthermore, even if some members of the household are not eligible, those who are may be able to get Florida SNAP benefits.
Eligibility for Aged and Disabled Households
There are special rules for households with seniors and people who are disabled.
If you are age 60 or over, or you are receiving Social Security Disability or Medicare due to a disability, or a full VA pension here’s what you need to know.
You may be eligible with income over the regular limits if you pay very high rent and utilities and/or have medical expenses over $35 per month.
However, this must be computed on a case-by-case basis.
Your household assets must fall below certain limits.
Households without a member who is elderly or has a disability must have assets of $2,250 or less.
However, households with an elderly or has a disabled person must have assets of $3,500 or less.
Income and Deductions
To be eligible for Tampa Food Stamps, your monthly gross income (before payroll deductions) must be the same or below the amount listed in the chart for your household size.
Florida SNAP uses your total household income to determine your eligibility for food stamp benefits.
Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level, to be potentially eligible for FL SNAP.
Gross monthly income is a household’s total income before subtracting any allowable deductions.
These deductions are particular expenses that are subtracted from the household’s monthly gross income. This will give you your total household’s net income.
Florida Food Stamps Income Limits – 2022
Your household’s total income is the single most important factor when determining if you qualify for Tampa food stamp benefits.
Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level, to be potentially eligible for FL SNAP.
If your household has a person who is 60 or older or disabled, only the net income limit must be met.
Use the Florida Food Stamps Income Limit Chart provided below to see if your household income qualifies for benefits.
|Number of People in Household||Maximum Monthly Gross Income Allowed – 200% Federal Poverty Level||Maximum Monthly Net Income Allowed – 100% Federal Poverty Level|
|Each additional member||+$758||+$379|
Florida SNAP Income Deductions
When determining your household’s total net income, you are asked to determine any allowable deductions your household may qualify for.
These deductions are subtracted from your household’s monthly gross income to arrive at the net monthly income.
Your household’s net income is used to determine eligibility and the amount of FL food stamp benefits you will receive each month.
The Florida food stamps allowable deductions include:
- 20 percent deduction from earned income to account for work-related expenses and payroll taxes.
- A standard deduction based on household size (see below) to account for basic unavoidable costs.
- Dependent care deduction for out-of-pocket child care or when needed for work, training, or education.
- Child support deduction for any legally obligated child support that a member of the household pays.
- Medical expense deduction for elderly or disabled household members that have incurred out-of-pocket medical expenses greater than $35 a month.
- Homeless household shelter deduction of $159.73.
- Excess shelter deduction for households with a shelter cost that exceed more than half of the household’s income. This deduction is uncapped for households with an elderly or disabled member. However, for all other households, this deduction is capped at $597 per month.
Once you have subtracted all eligible deductions from your household gross income, this will give you your monthly net income.
Food Stamps Florida Standard Deduction
The food stamps standard deduction varies based on your household size and location. Please use the chart provided below to find the standard deduction amount for your household size.
|Florida SNAP Standard Deductions for Fiscal Year 2022|
|Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022|
|Household Size:||Standard Deduction:|
How much in FL Food Stamps will I get?
If you are approved for food stamps in Florida, the amount of benefits you receive depends on the:
- Number of people in your household,
- Total amount of your household’s income, and
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Thrifty Food Plan.
The Thrifty Food Plan is a government estimate of how much it costs to provide a household with nutritious, low-cost meals.
The table below shows the maximum FL SNAP benefits for households with zero income.
As your income increases, your food stamp benefit amount goes down.
|Household Size||Florida SNAP Maximum Monthly Allotment|
|Each Additional Member:||+$188|
How do I apply for Tampa Food Stamps?
There are three ways you can apply for food stamps in Tampa:
Option 1 – Online at ACCESS Florida
The easiest and quickest way to apply for FL Food Stamps in Tampa is online at the My ACCESS Florida website.
Option 2 – By Phone
You can call your local Hillsborough County DCF office to apply for food stamp benefits by phone or to have an application mailed to you.
Here is the number to call:
Tampa DCF Customer Service Phone Number: 305-377-5055
You can complete the paper SNAP Application and return it to the Tampa DCF office for processing.
Option 3 – In Person
Lastly, you can apply for food stamp Tampa in-person at any of the Department of Families and Children Services offices.
To locate the Florida DCF Office in Tampa near you, click here.
After you submit an application, you will be contacted by an eligibility worker to complete the online application.
Tampa DCF Office Location
Here’s the list of southern region Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Office locations in Hillsborough County.
All of the Hillsborough DCF office locations handle Florida food stamp applications and benefits.
Tampa DCF Office
9393 North Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33612
Hillsborough County DCF Food Stamps Fax Number
Additionally, you can fax your completed application to the Tampa DCF Office at 888-254-7591.
Florida DCF Community Partner Agency
In addition, you can visit a local community partner agency for more help with your food stamps, cash assistance, or Medicaid benefits.
Local community partner agencies help the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) provide access to public assistance services.
To find the local Community Partner Agency near you, click here.
My ACCESS Florida Login
If you live in Hillsborough County, then you can use the My ACCESS Florida online portal to apply for and manage your food stamp benefits.
Follow the instructions below for help logging into My ACCESS Florida online account.
Step 1 – Visit the My ACCESS Florida Website
To start the login process for your My ACCESS Florida online account, visit the Access Florida website at www.myflorida.com/accessflorida.
Once you are on the homepage you will need to click the “Login or Create Account” button located on the middle of the page.
For help, please refer to the screenshot below:
Step 2 – Enter your Account Information
Next, you will be taken to a page where you will be required to enter your ACCESS Florida User ID and Password information.
You will have to enter a valid User ID and Password in order to gain access to your benefits online.
Once you enter the correct account information, click “Sign In” button.
Step 3 – View your Account
If you entered the correct password, you will be automatically taken to your My ACCESS Florida account page.
Once there, you can perform a variety of tasks as listed above, including:
- See if you are eligible for benefits
- Apply for Benefits
- View or Continue an Application
- Submit verification documents
- Learn about other benefit programs
Forgot ACCESS Florida User ID and Password
If you do not remember your ACCESS Florida login credentials, follow the provided instructions below.
Forgot ACCESS Florida User ID
If you do not remember your User ID, we can help. The first thing you want to do is go back to the ACCESS Florida login page.
Once there, click on the “Forgot User ID” link. After that, you will be taken to a new page where you will have to provide your personal information.
This includes your:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
- Case Number
- Zip Code
- Payee First & Last Name
- Payee Date of Birth
Once complete, click the “Next” button to recover your ACCESS Florida User ID information.
For help, please refer to the screenshot below:
Forgot ACCESS Florida Password
If you forgot your password information, we can help. The first thing you want to do is go back to the ACCESS Florida login page.
Once there, click on the “Forgot Password” link. After that, you will be taken to a new page where you will have to provide your User ID.
Next, you will be taken to the page where you’ll have to answer one of the security questions you selected when you created your ACCESS Florida online account.
Provide the answer to the question in the space provided and click “Submit” to complete the password reset process.
Florida DCF Customer Service Phone Number
For help with your Food Stamps Tampa including how to apply for benefits, questions about your food stamps, renewal, SNAP payments, and more, please call the Florida DCF Customer Call Center.
Florida DCF Customer Service Number: 850-300-4323
For deaf or hearing impaired, call TTY: 1-800-955-8771
Additionally, you can call the Florida Relay 711 number for help.
Customer Service agents are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm ET.
Frequently Asked Questions about Food Stamp in Tampa
Check out our list of frequently asked questions related to the food stamps in Tampa.
What time will my FL EBT Benefits be Deposited?
Florida food stamps benefits are available on your EBT Card by 6am EST on your scheduled deposit day. SNAP benefits deposited into your EBT Card account from the 1st to the 28th each month on a set payment schedule.
Your benefits are deposited onto your EBT card according to your case number. To find out what day your benefits will be deposited, use the the schedule below:
|If the 9th and 8th digit of your Case number is||Benefits are deposited on the|
|00-03||1st of the month|
|04-06||2nd of the month|
|07-10||3rd of the month|
|11-13||4th of the month|
|14-17||5th of the month|
|18-20||6th of the month|
|21-24||7th of the month|
|25-27||8th of the month|
|28-31||9th of the month|
|32-34||10th of the month|
|35-38||11th of the month|
|39-41||12th of the month|
|42-45||13th of the month|
|46-48||14th of the month|
|49-53||15th of the month|
|54-57||16th of the month|
|58-60||17th of the month|
|61-64||18th of the month|
|65-67||19th of the month|
|68-71||20th of the month|
|72-74||21st of the month|
|75-78||22nd of the month|
|79-81||23rd of the month|
|82-85||24th of the month|
|86-88||25th of the month|
|89-92||26th of the month|
|93-95||27th of the month|
|96-99||28th of the month|
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Florida EBT card to purchase eligible food items.
If you need additional help, including how to find your Florida Case Number, check out our Florida EBT Payment Schedule article.
What does Florida EBT not cover?
Your Florida EBT Card can not be used to purchase any hot or prepared food item, as well as any non-food items.
Here is a list of items that your EBT does not cover:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Soaps, paper products, cosmetics, grooming items
- Pet food (for example, dog food, cat food, etc.)
- Vitamins or medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods
Other Items you cannot buy with your EBT Card include:
- Cod liver oil
- Cough drops
- Crabs (cooked and hot)
- Dietary Supplements (for example, GNC, and most protein powders)
- Dry ice
- Energy drinks with Supplement Information labels (for example, 5-Hour Energy)
- Fertilizer and insecticides
- Flax oil
- Fountain Drinks
- Gift baskets (if the food part of the gift basket is less than 50% of the total price)
- Ice cream cone/sundae
- Livestock (for example, live animals or birds)
- Cakes (that are more than 50% non-edible)
- Toilet paper
If I get more benefits than I’m due, will I have to repay the extra food stamp benefits?
Yes – if you receive too much in Florida food stamp benefits, you will be required to pay those benefits back.
This is considered an over-payment.
Even if you did not cause the error that led to the overpayment, you will be required to pay back the extra SNAP benefits.
If this happens, you will be notified in writing and provided with options for repayment.
Repayment options include a reduction in your regular allotment each month until the balance has been paid.
To help prevent possibly over-payments, please report your income and household information.
How do I replace a lost or stolen Florida EBT Card?
If your Florida EBT Card is lost or stolen, the first thing you want to do is contact Florida EBT Customer Service to report the issue.
Upon contacting customer service, they will deactivate your EBT card. This means that you will no longer have access to your EBT Card benefits until your replacement card arrives in the mail.
Your replacement Florida EBT Card will arrive via USPS First Class mail within 5 to 7 business days at your mailing address on file.
To speak with a live person about your lost or stolen EBT Card, call the Florida EBT Customer Service number provided below:
Florida EBT Customer Service Number: 1-888-356-3281
You can call Florida EBT Card Customer Service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
What Farmers Markets Accept Food Stamps in Tampa?
Florida food stamp benefits are accepted at many Farmers’ Markets throughout Tampa and Hillsborough County.
When you use your FL EBT card at Farmers Market in Tampa, you can get an extra $10 for free, fresh produce when you spend $10 with your SNAP EBT Card.
Here are three reasons why you should use your Florida EBT Card and food stamp benefits at Farmers’ Markets:
- Produce may cost less than at the grocery store
- Farmers’ Market produce is grown locally and fresh
- You help support the local Florida economy and small farms
What is Fresh Access Bucks?
Fresh Access Bucks is Florida’s statewide nutrition incentive program that increases the purchasing power of SNAP recipients.
The program incentivizes Florida EBT Cardholders to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, produce stands, CSAs, mobile markets, and community grocery outlets.
This is the state’s approach to addressing food access, affordability, and nutrition education for building healthy, resilient communities.
You can buy fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, baked goods, meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, cheese, jams, jelly, honey, seeds, and plants that produce food.
Continue reading below to find a list of Farmers’ Markets in Hillsborough County.
Below is a list of farmers markets that participate in Fresh Access Bucks in Hillsborough County.
Sweetwater Organic Community Farm Market
6942 West Comanche Ave.
Tampa, Florida 33634
Every Sunday beginning October 31st
Strawberry Passion Organics Farmers Market
11780 Tom Folsom Road
Thonotosassa, Florida 33592
Market Hours: Friday & Saturday 9am-2pm
Meacham Urban Farm Market
1108 E Scott Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
Market Hours: Saturday 9am-1pm & Sunday 10am-1pm
For more help with your Tampa Food Stamp benefits or Florida SNAP EBT, check out our complete list of Florida EBT Card FAQs here.
If you need help with food stamps in another Florida county, check out our other Food Stamp Guides below:
- Broward County Food Stamps Guide
- Orlando Food Stamps Guide
- Food Stamps in Jacksonville, FL Guide
- Miami Food Stamps Guide
Tampa Food Stamp Questions
We hope our Tampa Food Stamp Guide was helpful to you! If you found this article helpful, please share it using the “Share this” button below.
If you have more questions about the Florida food stamp program or your SNAP EBT benefits, please let us know in the comments section below. We’re here to help!
In the meantime, be sure to check out our other articles on FL Food Stamps and EBT Card:
Florida EBT Card Discounts & Freebies
What Fast Food Restaurants take EBT in Florida?
Free Admission with Florida EBT Card
Florida EBT Customer Service Phone Number
How to Buy Groceries Online with Florida EBT
How to use Florida EBT Online at Walmart