We Can Help You Get Healthy Food!

Fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods help you and your family be who you want to be. Sometimes these healthy foods are expensive. Below are places you can call or visit that may help you and your family obtain these healthy foods. Many of these places have income guidelines. You may qualify for Food Assistance even if you work full-time. Call us to find out if you and your family can get help.

You can now apply for Food Assistance and other DHS programs online! Click here to use the online OASIS application.

The Food Assistance Program provides Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to buy groceries at supermarkets, grocery stores and some Farmers Markets.

You may qualify for Food Assistance if you:

  • Meet income guidelines

  • Be a citizen or legal immigrant

  • All children who are born in the United States can apply even if their parents are not citizens.

To apply: Call your local DHS officeto get a paper application or apply onlineat oasis.iowa.gov.

Before you apply:Please review "Before applying for Food Assistance" document. This document gives a brief overview of what we need to process your application, why certain questions are asked, citizenship/immigration information, questions that must be answered for Food Assistance and your rights and responsibilities. If you have questions about applying for Food Assistance, please contact your local DHS office.

*Note:Food Assistance applicants have the option to only answer the questions included on this document as they are required as a condition of eligibility.

Note: there have been reports of ads offering assistance for filling out Food Assistance applications. The links will take you to another website where you may be asked to provide personaland credit card information. Do NOT provide this information, it can allow others to make unauthorized purchases on your credit card or gain access to your bank accounts. If you see an ad offeringFood Assistanceapplication assistance with alink, do notclick on it. Never provide any personal information, including credit card information on an unsecure Web Site. DHS employees will never ask you for credit card information or for anything not on your State Agency application.

If you receive Food Assistance you can now access your account information on the web. Go to https://www.ebt.acs-inc.com/ to register today. There is no charge for using this online access.

Click here to find yourlocal DHS office.

Iowa WIC

The WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) is a supplemental nutrition program for babies, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and women who have had a baby in the last 6 months. WIC helps families by providing healthy foods, nutrition education, and referrals to other health care agencies.


  • Meet income guidelines

  • Have an Iowa address

  • Have a medical or nutritional need

To apply: Make an appointment at your local WIC office.Bring proof of address, identity and income.

Contact Information:Go to www.idph.state.ia.us/wic/families.aspfor more information.

More low-income Iowanshave increased access to locally grown farm fresh food at selected Farmers Markets due to the efforts of the Iowa Department of Human ServicesWireless EBT Project.This Project provides wireless point-of-salemachines to qualified vendors across the state. This enables the vendors to accept the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)food assistance card, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover.

Click here for more information about this program.

There are Farmers Markets throughout Iowa!

Click here for the latest list of Farmers Markets

To findthe nearestDHS officewhere you can get an application form or ask questions about DHS programs click here for phone numbers ofCounty DHS Office Locations. The local DHS office serving your county is also listed in the State or County Government section of your local phone book, under "Department of Human Services" or just "Human Services". To report a change to yourFood Stampcasecall:1-877-347-5678

You can use a prescreening tool developed by the USDA to determine if you may be eligible to receive Food Assistance benefits.Click here forthe USDA's Applicants and Recipients web page and click on the On-Line Prescreening Tool link. A similar tool isused in the online application.

Click on either the English or Spanishlinkbelow if you want to apply for Food Assistance, Family Investment Program (FIP) and/or Medicaid (Title 19). Youwill need toprint the application and either take it ormail it in to a DHS office.


Family Investment Program (FIP), Refugee Cash Assistance, Food Assistance or Child Care Assistance

Public Assistance Application


Family Investment Program (FIP), Refugee Cash Assistance, Food Assistance or Child Care Assistance

Solicitud Para Asistencia Publica

Useful Links: Food Assistance Manual Food Assistance Rules


Facts about the Food Assistance Program English Spanish

Food Assistance Program through Electronic Benefit Transfer English Spanish

Food Assistance Makes Iowa Stronger English Spanish

Civil Rights Statement for the Food Assistance Program:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs ,marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation,or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_program.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Director, Office of Adjudication

1400 Independence Avenue,S.W.,

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410,

by fax (202) 690-7442or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800 )845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Click here for information about the Commodities/Food Distribution programs.

School Food

The School Breakfast Program provides healthy breakfasts in school. Children can receive free or reduced price school breakfasts.

The National School Lunch Program provides healthy lunches. Children can receive free or reduced price lunches.


  • Meet income guidelines or get food assistance.

  • Be a migrant, homeless or foster child.

To apply:Ask for an Iowa Eligibility Application at your childs school.Return the completed application to your childs school.

Contact Information: Contact your childs school

Summer Food
Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals during the summer months to some communities and day camps.

Qualifications: Be 18 years old or younger

To apply: No application process

Contact Information: Bureau of Nutrition, Health, and Transportation Services


Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

The CSFP provides supplemental food and nutrition education for pregnant, postpartum and breast-feeding women, infants, children up to age six and the elderly. Available foods include canned fruits and vegetables, hot and cold cereals, cheese, peanut butter and beans, pastas, canned and powdered milk, regular and soy formula and infant cereal.


  • Meet income guidelines

  • Be six years or younger, a pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, or over the age of 60

  • Foster children six years or younger are automatically eligible for this program

  • Cannot also be enrolled in the WIC program

To apply:

  • Apply in person at your local CSFP office.

  • Bring proof of age, income, birth of baby or doctors note that provides due date of baby.

  • If applying for your foster child, bring legal documentation of foster care status, childs birth certificate or Title XIX document, and proof that you are the foster parent.

Contact Information: 1-877-288-3655 or www.polkcountyiowa.gov/CFYS/pages/SuppFoods.aspx

Emergency Food Assistance

Emergency Food Assistance provides free meals and

food at places like food pantries and soup kitchens.

To apply:Dial 211 or your local food bank to find out more information about places for help near you.

Contact Information: Dial 211 or go to www.iowalegalaid.com for food pantry information


SHARE, also known as the Self-Help and Resource Exchange, is a program for anyone. SHARE Iowa offers tasty, nutritious grocery packages at half the retail cost in exchange for two hours of volunteer service in your community.

Contact Information: 1-800-344-1107 www.shareiowa.com


EFNEP and FNP are free nutrition education programs for low-income families offered by Iowa State University Extension. They help parents provide nutritious food for their families, leading to healthy children and strong families. Nutrition coaches meet with participants one-on-one and in small groups. The lessons include hands on activities, worksheets, games, recipes and cooking.

Qualifications: Meet income guidelines

To apply:800-262-3804 or www.extension.iastate.edu/efnep/


Images of people and children