Independent living
Transition (aging out)

New Food Assistance for Youth From Foster Care

Young people shopping in grocery store

What are these new guidelines?

The new SNAP guidelines say that if you were in foster care at age 18 and are now under age 25, you may qualify food assistance (SNAP) (even if you’ve been denied in the past, didn’t qualify, or maxed out benefits). Consider applying again or apply for the first time! 

Transitioning into adulthood is hard. Food assistance through SNAP can help reduce pressure and allow you to use your money for other things.

What is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?

  • SNAP offers help to people who might need a little extra support to buy food. 
  • It's usually offered in a reloadable card that helps them purchase groceries at the store. 
  • The idea is to make sure everyone has enough to eat, especially when money is tight.
  • Young people who were in foster care at age 18 can access it even if you’re not in a transition program. 

How do you know if you qualify for SNAP?

  • If you were in foster care on or after your 18th birthday - you are eligible!
  • If you are in extended foster care past your 18th birthday - you are eligible!
  • If you left foster care on or after your 18th birthday, but now you’re older and haven’t accessed this help before - you are eligible up to your 25th birthday!
  • If you were in foster care on or after your 18th birthday, are under 25 and moved to a different state - you are eligible!
  • If you are 18 or older experiencing homelessness and don't think you qualify based on the information above there may be options for you. Consider applying!
  • If you had your 25th birthday - you are NOT eligible under this policy, but may be eligible for other reasons. Consider applying!

How to Apply? 

Look up, call and or go into your local Department of Human Services office and speak with the benefits office. You can choose the kind of service you need and apply. Many applications are also available online. You can find your local SNAP (Food Assistance) State Directory at:

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure on your application or when you talk with someone about SNAP, they know about your foster care experience. 
  • Some people might not know about the new guidelines - bring this document with you as a reference to advocate for yourself: Administration for Children and Families Updated Guidelines

Still Need Help? 
Contact [email protected] or call us at 503-717-1552
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