Keep reading to see different ways you can get additional food assistance during the coronavirus outbreak.
Once news of the coronavirus and possible shutdowns hit, you probably went to the store and stocked up on food for your family. Once those shutdowns spread, however, you’re stockpiling may have stopped if your income was negatively impacted.
In response to the crisis, several organizations have stepped up to provide COVID-19 food assistance. While your mileage may vary according to location, this list should help open your eyes as to the opportunities that exist.
The fact that you can get emergency assistance via 911 is probably etched into your brain. But did you know you can find other forms of assistance by calling 211? You sure can, and it’s a number that can come in handy until things get back to normal.
When it comes to food, contacting 211 can connect you to information on where to find food distribution sites and food pantries in your area.
Besides dialing 211, you can find your “local 211” by going here and entering your city and zip code or state into the fields at the top of the page.
You’ll also find a wide variety of resources available to those in need besides food assistance, such as help with unemployment benefits, low-cost home Internet access, health insurance and medical expenses, rental and mortgage payment assistance, and more.
The Benefits.gov Website
Most states have their own programs that offer food assistance in times of crisis like this and throughout the year. You can find programs available in your state by visiting this link where you can filter the results by location to pinpoint what you need.
As an example, you may find information on your state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly referred to as food stamps. You may also find information on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The federal government has eased requirements for such programs to make it easier to receive their benefits in these tough times. In other words, if you had problems qualifying before, check to see if you’re eligible now.
One way in which qualifying has become easier is you no longer have to enroll in person. It can now be done remotely, which is quicker, more convenient, and safer. Another is that the USDA recently waived requirements for children to be present when parents pick up meals.
While most schools across the country have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, their food services have continued to allow local children to receive free meals.
Contact your child’s school to see if they are offering free meals that you can pick up.
State Social Services
Another place where you may want to check for food assistance is through your state’s social services agency. To find yours, go here.
The USA.gov Website
This government website is another resource where you can get help putting food on the table. You’ll find more information on COVID-19 food assistance programs by going here.