Challenge: Applying for Food Stamps

Help us make it easier for residents to get the help they need to buy food.


Food stamps is a federal program that helps low-income families buy food and stay healthy. It's one of the largest and most important social service programs in the country - about 50 million Americans use this service everyday and half of all kids will rely on food stamps while growing up. Getting food stamps reduces a family's risk of being food insecure by about one-third and is associated with better health across the board.

Despite the documented importance of food stamps, they remains extremely underutilized in many states.In California for example, about one-third of people who are eligible for food stamps aren’t getting them.

One big reason is that applying for food stamps is really hard. Many offices are in such disrepair that parents don't want to bring their kids, and the online websites aren't much better. They're super long, confusing, and don’t work on phones at all. Some of them have "business hours" and are down every night.

Code for America is building a new online food stamp application that works for humans and sets a new standard for safety net services online. Help us learn about all the different food stamp websites across the country.

Here is how you can help

To get started, search Google for “<my county>  food stamps”. Food stamps are provided by County human service agencies, sometimes called social service agencies or welfare departments. 

Use your local food stamp website to complete any of the following activities. These tasks will require your awesome user experience, research, and design skills. 

Citizen Onboarding

Teardown so we can build up.

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Digital Service Census

Whats the state of online digital services across America?

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Journey Maps

Whats the journey of user through the service?

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More National Day Challenges

We've prepared challenges focusing on digital government and helping out in your community. Jump in and start helping where you can. After National Day, we'll package everything together into a single document that tells the story of digital government services in America.