What we do

Food Access

Food access is a critical social determinant of health.  Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy seeks to ensure that low-income families can put food on their tables and avoid food insecurity. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy fights to ensure families receive the benefits to which they are entitled in order to avoid hunger and better position them to thrive in all areas of their lives. 

Our services focus on:

  • Representing clients in appeals of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS or Food Stamps) overpayment claims, including Intentional Program Violations (IPVs), Inadvertent Household Errors (IHEs), and Agency Errors (AEs) 
  • Disputing incorrect calculations of monthly FNS benefit levels and improper denials of FNS applications  
  • Providing information and assistance to families experiencing trouble accessing P-EBT (benefits to replace free or reduced-price meals for children whose schools are operating virtually or at reduced capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic) 
  • Providing information to FNS households about changing policies, procedures, and benefit levels 
  • To the extent resources permit, assisting with FNS applications 

Client Work

  • Food and Nutrition Services (FNS or Food Stamps) overpayment claims, including Intentional Program Violations (IPVs), Inadvertent Household Errors (IHEs), and Agency Errors (AEs)
  • FNS benefit levels disputes and improper denials of FNS applications  
  • P-EBT access
  • FNS applications (when resources permit)

Systemic advocacy and community outreach

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy represents many individuals and families who contact us for assistance. The problems we identify on the ground inform our advocacy for programmatic and systemic change. We utilize systemic advocacy strategies to change the rules, procedures and practices of local, state, and federal agencies to promote equity in and improve access to food support programs and resources. 

We collaborate with partners nation-wide to understand the changing landscape of food support programs, and advocate for policy change and implementation strategies to deliver to families the benefits these programs were intended to provide. We also maintain a strong collaborative relationship with local and state agencies to provide real-time updates of issues and support the delivery of food access to low-income families in North Carolina.  

Eligibility

Our food access work focuses on the representation of Mecklenburg County residents, but we may also accept limited referrals in Union and Cabarrus County, to the extent resources permit and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is the most appropriate legal representative. 

Additional Resources:

USDA: Thrifty Food Plan 

NC DHHS: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) 

Applying for FNS/Food Stamps 

News & Updates:

Food and Nutrition Services Change: October 2021