This mini-guide will show you where to go to get the groceries you need now.
Have you seen a reduction in income or lost your job since COVID-19 hit the scene? If so, you’re certainly not alone. And while that may have you worried about paying the rent or mortgage so you can keep a roof over your head, a more immediate need is food.
Has the government stepped in to help with increased unemployment assistance and $1,200 stimulus checks? Yes, but if those benefits haven’t arrived yet or you didn’t qualify, you may be wondering where your next meal will come from.
The following resources can provide much-needed meals so you can eliminate at least one worry from your list:
Food Stamps via the Sup plemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
You may have known them as food stamps before, but those benefits are now referred to as SNAP, which has come in handy for families in need.
As with most government programs, SNAP has its own application process and requirements that may make acceptance seem like a daunting task. Luckily, the government has pulled back a bit on restrictions to make getting SNAP benefits easier.
SNAP funding has increased, meaning families could get more benefits to feed their families. You can get school meals for your children without having to bring them along, which helps with preventing the spread of COVID-19 and adheres to social distancing. Best of all, you can now apply for SNAP on a remote basis without having to go in person.
To see if you’re eligible for COVID-19 food assistance via SNAP, go here.
State Social Services
Each state has its own setup when it comes to food assistance. You may want to give your state’s social services agency a call to see what they have to offer, which you can do by going here.
The Hunger Hotline
The USDA created its own Hunger Hotline to offer immediate food assistance. Although it may be inundated with calls since so many families need help, you can call 866-3-HUNGRY between 7 am and 10 pm, Monday through Friday, to see if they can serve you.
If there’s one silver lining from the coronavirus outbreak, it’s shown how communities can come together to help one another. Several community organizations have created food drives to offer food assistance during COVID-19.
To find these opportunities, try an online search for your city or keep a close eye on your local news station or newspaper.
Two Government Websites
USA.gov and Benefits.gov are loaded with links to help you find COVID-19 food assistance. Even better, you can use them to find other resources to help you with additional needs that the coronavirus shutdowns have created.
Personalized Help via 211
If you find you’re having trouble navigating the resources above and want personalized help in your search, dial 211 on your phone. They’re open 24-7 and have highly trained professionals well-versed in food assistance and other programs.