The Food Stamp program helps needy families buy food. People on Food Stamps get a “Quest Card,” which is pre-loaded with funds that can be used to buy groceries at any participating store. Generally, the program allows the card to be used only for food, but in some rural areas, you can use it to buy items for subsistence hunting and fishing, such as nets, hooks, fishing line, rods, harpoons, knives, and other necessary equipment.
To receive Food Stamps, you must live in Alaska. There is no specific age requirement, so practically anyone who qualifies financially can receive benefits. To qualify, you must go through income and asset screening. Currently, you are eligible if you are below 130% of the poverty level. View a list of income limits. If you are 21 years old or younger and live with your parents, you are considered part of the same household as your parents. You can apply on your own only if you do not live with your parents.
To find out if you are eligible for Food Stamps, contact your local Public Assistance Office. Public Assistance Offices are located in most large communities in Alaska, including Anchorage, Homer, Eagle River, Juneau, Fairbanks, Bethel, Ketchikan, Kotzebue, Kodiak, Nome, Wasilla, and Sitka.
To receive Food Stamp benefits, you must:
- register for work if you are able-bodied and between 16 and 59 years old;
- participate in the Employment & Training Program if offered;
- accept offers of employment; and
- not quit your job.
There are some exceptions to the work requirement. To see if you qualify for an exception, contact your local public assistance office.