EBT Cards are the the equivalent of “food stamps”. They also are the means by which some access cash assistance. EBT Cards are applied for in the first week of life in Minnesota for new arrivals. Usually the case manager will take the refugee family to apply, but occasionally volunteers will be asked to help. You will more likely help with transportation to follow-up appointments, as requested.
To apply, refugees must go to the Public Assistance offices of the county they live in–usually Ramsey or Hennepin County. Case Managers or the Volunteer Coordinator can tell you the logistics about the application process for each County. Here are the addresses if you are helping with transportation.
Hennepin County Public Assistance
Hennepin County Public Assistance is located at Century Plaza in Downtown Minneapolis.
330 South 12th Street
Ramsey County Public Assistance
160 East Kellogg Blvd
Saint Paul, MN
How It Works
For Frequently Asked Questions and more information about Minnesota Food Support, visit the website of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
EBT Cards are refilled once a month. The date of the refill is determined by their case number, so it is different for each person. The amount of money they will receive each month will also differ from person to person, depending on their particular income, household size, and other factors. To check an EBT Card balance, call the Customer Service number on the back of the card. The pin number will be needed to check the balance.
To use the EBT Card at a grocery store, swipe it just like a credit card in the credit card machine. When prompted, choose “Food” or “Cash”. Then type in the Pin Number. If there is only food on the card, any non-food items, or any pre-prepared food (i.e. rotisserie chickens) will need to be paid for with cash.