A Food and Nutrition Service Number (FNS) is a number given to people who get food stamps. Each person in the same household gets their own FNS. No two people can get the same number, even if they are married to each other. People with FNSs use them when they buy food at stores that accept food stamps.
The FNS number does not change even if the person’s name changes. For example, a woman who marries may keep her own family’s FNS even after she has children. She would use that same FNS when buying food for her husband and their children in the same household.
Why is a Food and Nutrition Service Number needed?
Many stores that accept food stamps require customers to show their FNS before a purchase can be made. A store has to have a machine or person that checks the FNS, so that no one buys more food stamps than they are allowed. This helps make sure people who get food stamps buy just the right amount of food for themselves and their family.
Does a FNS always have to be used?
No, the Food and Nutrition Service Number only has to be shown if it is requested by an employee of the store. Most stores now use scanners which automatically read the number as it is entered into a point-of-sale machine bay. In some cases, however, the number will still need to be shown.
What do I do if my Food and Nutrition Service Number has been lost or stolen?
Visit your local office of the FNS. You should bring a photo ID with you. The agency that issues this ID must have a copy of your original birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. You must also show bills or statements that prove you live in the area where the office is located.
How do I find my FNS number?
There are several ways to get your FNS number. One way is to call the agency that administers food stamps in your area and ask for it. You can also find out your FNS number by going to an office of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and showing a photo ID and proof of where you live.
Do I need my FNS number if I don’t get food stamps?
If you are not getting food stamps (and you live in the United States), then no, you don’t need your Food and Nutrition Service Number. However, if you do plan on applying for food stamps sometime in the future, then it would be a good idea for you to find out your number.
How do I become a snap authorized retailer?
In order to become a snap authorized retailer, you must first contact your state agency. You may then fill out the application that they provide and return it to them for review. After reviewing your application, the state office will either approve or reject your application. If approved, you can begin using purchase orders immediately if you have already been given a purchase order number. If not, you will need to wait until your purchase order is issued.