How to Get Help With Food
If you are dealing with financial hardships and are finding it hard to keep food on the table, whilst maintain all your other bills, there are numerous organizations available to assist you. Throughout America, many non-profits and government agencies provide help with getting food – this can include actual meals, food baskets or boxes, food stamps and more. Below are some of the more popular programs that provide thousands of meals for Americans every day.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The SNAP program, previously known as food stamps is the largest national provision of food to families in America. It is easy to see if you qualify by using the online SNAP pre-screening tool. This online calculator asks a few simple questions about your income and expenses and determines if you may be eligible. The screening tool is not an application, but gives you an indication if you might qualify.
To apply for this food supplemental benefit, contact your local SNAP office.
Need food Now?
If you need food immediately, The National Hunger Hotline can help you find the closest source of meals and emergency assistance. This Hotline can point you immediately to the nearest government program, food pantry or grassroots organization to ensure you have the nutrition you need.
Call 1-866-3-HUNGRY for immediate food assistance, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Or you can visit the Feeding America’s website to find the nearest food bank in your neighborhood.
Food Assistance for Seniors
For low-income seniors there are two popular programs that can ensure you receive the proper nutrition, including hot meals and proper fruits and vegetables. Meals on Wheels provide over a million meals through more than 5000 local Senior Nutrition programs across the country. Depending on the location nearest to you, the programs either offer food delivered to you or serve the meals in a central location. Simply enter your Zip code for the location nearest to you.
The Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is the organization that provides coupons to seniors that can then be traded for fresh fruits and vegetables at local food stands, farmer’s markets and community agriculture programs.
Food Assistance for Children
Whether at home or at school if you need help feeding your child(ren) there are plenty of programs that can help. Ensure they receive the best nutrition possible with these programs.
The largest program is the USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs that include the National School Lunch Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Depending on your needs there is a program that can supply you with the proper nutrition for your child(ren). The National School Lunch Program gives your child access to free or reduced price breakfast and lunch meals at school. The application process is easy and free. If you are already receiving SNAP benefits your child already qualifies for the lunch program as well. To find out more on these school food programs you can consult the eligibility requirements and the USDA’s fact sheet.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides the same benefits to low-income families during the summer time and can be found through your local State agency.
Food Assistance for Woman with Infants & Children
A Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children ensures the health of new mothers and children by providing health care referrals, supplemental food for children and the mother and various education to new mothers that include breastfeeding and post-partum. If you are at risk you can apply with your local WIC chapter and can use the pre-screening tool for eligibility questions.