State-Funded Food Assistance Programs

Last updated APRIL 2020

This table lists the state-funded programs that provide nutrition assistance to immigrants who are not eligible for coverage under the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Unless otherwise noted, state-funded assistance is provided at the federal SNAP benefit level.



California“Qualified” immigrants, lawful temporary residents, victims of trafficking, U visa/interim relief applicants, and U visa holders.  Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.
ConnecticutImmigrants ineligible for federal food stamps (SNAP) due to the 1996 federal welfare law eligible for food assistance at 75% of the federal amount. Immigrants who entered the U.S. on or after Apr. 1, 1998, must meet a 6-month residency requirement.
IllinoisIndividuals and derivative family members who have filed or are preparing to file an application for T or U status or asylum; terminates if have not filed application within one year (with limited exceptions) or if application finally denied.
MaineImmigrants ineligible for federal food stamps (SNAP) due to the 1996 federal welfare law and PRUCOLs. Individuals applying after July 1, 2011, must meet hardship criteria in order to qualify. This includes exceptions for seniors, people with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, people waiting for work authorization, and those granted work authorization who are seeking employment.
MinnesotaLawfully residing immigrants who are either 50 years or older or are receiving TANF. (The TANF program combines cash and food assistance.) Must take steps toward citizenship. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.
Washington“Qualified” immigrants, PRUCOLs, and lawfully present immigrants. Eligibility for this program may be affected by deeming.

Effective February 1, 2022, survivors of trafficking or other serious crimes and asylum applicants who have filed or are preparing to file applications for T or U status, ORR certification, or asylum.


Key Terms Used in Table

“Qualified” immigrants – are: (1) lawful permanent residents (LPRs); (2) refugees, asylees, persons granted withholding of deportation/removal, conditional entry (in effect prior to Apr. 1, 1980), or paroled into the U.S. for at least one year; (3) Cuban/Haitian entrants; (4) battered spouses and children with a pending or approved (a) selfpetition for an immigrant visa, or (b) immigrant visa filed for a spouse or child by a U.S. citizen or LPR, or (c) application for cancellation of removal/suspension of deportation, whose need for benefits has a substantial connection to the battery or cruelty. Parent/child of such battered child/spouse are also “qualified”; and (5) victims of trafficking and their derivative beneficiaries who have obtained a T visa or whose application for a T visa sets forth a prima facie case. (A broader group of trafficking victims who are certified by or receive an eligibility letter from the Office of Refugee Resettlement are eligible for benefits funded or administered by federal agencies, without
regard to their immigration status.)

“PRUCOL” or permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law – is not an immigration status, but a benefit eligibility category.  The term, which generally means that the Department of Homeland Security is aware of a person’s presence, but has no plans to deport/remove him or her, has been interpreted differently depending on the benefit program and jurisdiction.

Deeming – in some cases, a sponsor’s income and/or resources may be added to the immigrant’s in determining eligibility.  Exemptions from deeming may apply.

NOTE:  The information in this table is subject to change. Please check with your state or local social services agency or legal assistance office regarding the most current rules.