Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Rights and Responsibilities




Food Stamp Table of Contents



(1)         Food Stamp benefits are designed for use by participants to purchase eligible foods, including seeds and plants, for home consumption and use.  Other persons may be designated by the household to purchase food.  Households are not required to have cooking facilities or access to cooking facilities to participate in the program.


(2)         Special Uses


Although benefits were originally intended for use by eligible households to purchase food for home consumption, certain households have been authorized to use their benefits to obtain prepared meals or to facilitate their obtaining food.  These authorized special uses are:


(a)   Communal Dining


Eligible household members, 60 years of age or over, or SSI recipients, homeless, and their spouses, may use benefits issued to them to purchase meals prepared especially for them at communal dining facilities authorized by FNS for that purpose.


Communal dining facilities include senior citizen centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by elderly people or SSI households, public or private non-profit establishments (eating or otherwise) that feed elderly persons or SSI recipients, and federally subsidized housing for the elderly at which meals are prepared for and served to the residents.  It shall also include private establishment that contract with an appropriate State or local agency to offer meals at concessional prices to elderly persons, homeless, or SSI recipients.


(b)   Meals-On-Wheels


Eligible household members 60 years of age or over, or members who are housebound, feeble, physically handicapped, or otherwise disabled to the extent that they are unable to adequately prepare all their meals, and their spouses may use all or any part of the benefits issued to them to purchase meals from a non-profit meal delivery service authorized by FNS.


Meal delivery service means a political sub-division, a private non-profit organization, or a private establishment with which the State or local agency has contracted for the preparation and delivery of meals at a concessional price to the people listed above and which is authorized by FNS.


(c)    Addicts and Alcoholics in Treatment Programs


Members of eligible households who are narcotic addicts or alcoholics, and who are participating regularly in a drug or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program, may use all or part of the benefits issued to them during the course of such programs to purchase meals prepared for them by a private non-profit organization or institution.  Such institution or organization must be approved by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Retardation or by FNS if the center wishes to redeem benefits as a retailer.  (Refer to Section 1240-1-31 for certification procedures for residents of drug and alcoholic treatment centers.)


(d)   Group Living Arrangement


A public or private non-profit residential setting that serves no more than sixteen (16) residents and that is certified by the Department of Mental Health.  To be eligible for food stamp benefits, a resident of such a group living arrangement must be blind or disabled and receiving benefit under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

Glossary of Terms


Food Stamp Table of Contents