Maryland Food Supplement Program


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Quick Facts

Administering Program Name
Maryland Department of Human Services

Eligibility Information

In Maryland, students who are between ages 18 and 49 and enrolled at least half-time an institute of higher education* are eligible for FSP if they have a qualifying household income and meet one of the following criteria: 

You are: 

  • Receiving temporary cash assistance (TANF) benefits 
  • Participating in a state or federal work-study program 
  • Working at least 20 hours per week (no averaging) 
  • Caring for a dependent child under the age of 6
  • Caring for a dependent child between ages 5 and 12 and do not have adequate child care that would enable you to attend school while working 20 hours per week or participating in a work study program
  • A single parent, enrolled full-time with a dependent child under the age of 12
  • Are assigned to or placed in a college or certain other schools through:
    • a program under the Work Force Investment Act,
    • a program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974,
    • an employment and training program under the Food Stamp Act, or
    • an employment and training program operated by a State or local government.
  • Receiving disability and receiving SSI, SSA, or VA disability payments 
  • Living with a disability verified by a doctor or licensed psychologist 

* If you are not considered a student by FSP’s standards, you may still be eligible for benefits if you fall within the income limits.

How Do I Apply?

So, you meet the eligibility requirements. Woohoo! How do you get your benefits?

  • Apply online at 
  • If you’d like to apply in person, you can download an application form here and return it to your local Department of Human Services. You can also appear in person at the office and request a form. If you call the office, they will mail you a form on the same day. 
  • Complete the application process by attending an interview and submitting your verification documents. 
  • If you are approved, you should receive your Independence Card (Maryland’s EBT card) within 30 days of submitting your application. If your situation is urgent you may receive an expedited review and get your Independence Card within 7 days of applying.

Where/How to Use

Benefits are accessed by the use of an EBT card (like a debit or credit card) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Each time the card is used, the benefit account balance is reduced by the amount of the purchase. If the card is lost or stolen, it can’t be used by anyone who does not know the PIN, and it may easily be canceled and replaced.

You can use your Independence Card to buy groceries and seeds or plants that produce food. 

You can use your Independence Card to purchase food at any grocery store or farmers’ market that accepts SNAP. Use the map on the FreshEBT app to find grocery stores and farmers markets near you. 

This page was last updated on October 19, 2020.

Quick Facts

Administering Program Name
Maryland Department of Human Services

Advocacy Organizations

Outreach Organizations

  • Maryland Hunger Solutions can help you apply for FSP benefits. Call (866) 821-5552 to schedule an appointment. If you’re having trouble filling out the application, fill in your name, address, telephone number, and as much other information as you can. Sign the form and submit it. A case manager can help you fill in the rest at your interview.
  • Maryland Food Bank (410) 737-8282

Resources & Contacts