While many are worried about catching the coronavirus and keeping their families safe, here’s something else that’s probably on their minds: Staying fed.
After all, we can’t survive if we can’t eat. But the COVID-19 outbreak has made it much harder to eat since businesses have been forced to shut down, leading to furloughs, job loss, and reduced income.
How can you keep your kitchen stocked if money is low? You could do things like buying canned goods or stock up on other cheap foods, but that may not give you the necessary nutrition, especially if you have kids in the household.
What’s a better way to get food? With help from the government, and they have quite a handy website to help you achieve this goal.
Food Assistance From USA.gov
USA.gov is a massive website. The fact that it can provide help with unemployment, grants, emergency assistance, etc. is excellent. But the fact that it’s an official site of the U.S. government is even better, so you don’t have to worry about scams.
Bookmark USA.gov so you can see everything it has to offer later on. For now, let’s focus on its food assistance page.
A quick look at the page will show various links to different food assistance programs from the government. Each has its specific requirements and benefits.
At the very top of the list is immediate food aid. It makes sense to list this first because if you need food right now, some other programs may not fit the bill.
How to Get Help Now
To get immediate food aid, call the USDA National Hunger Hotline. Its number is 1-866-3-HUNGRY. You can receive help in either English or Spanish during the hours of 7 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday.
Beyond calling that hotline, USA.gov suggests contacting local religious or community organizations for immediate food assistance. You can find such organizations in your area by dialing 211 on your phone.
Changes to Food Programs Due to the Coronavirus
You can get more long-term food help through USA.gov through two popular programs: Food stamps (SNAP) and WIC.
Due to health concerns from COVID-19 and the increased need for food, the government has made it easier to get benefits from these programs.
For instance, food stamp benefits may be higher. You may be able to enroll in food assistance programs online instead of in person. And if you have any kids that need meals, you can get them from school without having to bring them along for proof.
Speaking of school meals, the USA.gov food assistance page can teach you about how to get free food for school-age children. It can also provide similar help if you have any seniors in the household who require nutritious food.
Lastly, if you’re ever a victim of a disaster, there’s helpful information on the page regarding D-SNAP benefits.