Skip to main content

Food Assistance

Learn how to get nutritious food for yourself and your family through SNAP (food stamps), D-SNAP, and WIC for women, infants, and children. Apply for school meals for your kids and supplemental food for seniors. Find out how food programs can provide emergency help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Immediate Food Assistance

If you’re hungry now:

  • Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273). Information is available in English and Spanish. The hotline operates Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time.

  • Contact community or religious organizations to find a local food bank or food pantry.

Đang chơi bài  To enroll or get other information:

Đang chơi bàiFor more information on school meals, check your child's school or school district website.

 is a federal nutrition program. Known previously as "food stamps," SNAP benefits can help you stretch your food budget if you have a low income.

Learn About the Types of Food You Can Buy With SNAP Benefits

If you’re eligible, you can purchase food using benefits that are issued to you monthly. You can use your SNAP benefits to buy a variety of foods for your household, including:

  • Đang chơi bàiFruits and vegetables

  • Đang chơi bàiMeat, poultry, and fish

  • Đang chơi bàiDairy products

  • Breads and cereals

Đang chơi bàiSee the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) .

Find Out If You Are Eligible for SNAP

To , you must meet certain requirements. States have income limits for SNAP recipients. They can also factor in your resources, such as money in the bank, to decide if you qualify for SNAP.  

Apply for SNAP Benefits

Use the . You may also apply in person at your state or local office.

How Your SNAP Benefits Work

  • Your state will issue benefits each month on a plastic electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. Much like a credit or debit card, you can use your EBT card to buy eligible food items. You must buy them from:

  • Đang chơi bàiSome states have . If your state doesn't have an EBT management website, you can contact your to check your benefits.

File a Complaint About SNAP

Whether you currently receive SNAP benefits or you're in the process of applying, you can file a complaint using these resources:

  • Đang chơi bài to request a hearing if you have .

  • File a . You will need to give the name and the location of the store. You may remain anonymous if you choose.

  • Contact your  if you suspect fraud or abuse of the SNAP program.

  • if you believe you have experienced discrimination in the SNAP program because of:

    • Age

    • Sex

    • Color

    • Race

    • Disability

    • Religious creed

    • National origin

    • Đang chơi bàiEnglish proficiency

    • Đang chơi bàiPolitical beliefs

SNAP Information For Retailers

Learn how to work with SNAP if you or if you .

Đang chơi bài . WIC also offers nutrition counseling and referrals to health, welfare, and social services.

Find Out If You or Your Children Are Eligible for the WIC Program

  • If you’re applying for yourself, you must be at least one of the following:

    • Pregnant

    • Đang chơi bàiBreastfeeding

    • Đang chơi bàiWithin six months of having given birth or pregnancy ending

  • Đang chơi bàiIf you’re applying for your children, they must be under five years old.

  • Đang chơi bàiYou must meet other based on your income, your health, and where you live.

Apply for the WIC Program

Contact for an appointment. When you call, someone will tell you where to apply and what to bring with you.

Learn More About the WIC Program

Đang chơi bàiYour agency may not have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC. In that case, it will to decide who will get WIC benefits first.

For more information and help applying, . You can also call .

  • The

  • Schools that don't offer meal programs may provide .

  • The offers free breakfast and lunch over summer break.

  • Find Out If Your Children Are Eligible for School Meal Programs 

    Your kids automatically qualify for free meals or milk if:

    • They are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court

    • They’re enrolled in

    Đang chơi bàiYour kids may qualify if your household income is within the . These guidelines are based on .

    • Đang chơi bàiIf your income is no more than 130 percent of the poverty level, they should qualify for free meals.

    • Đang chơi bàiIf your income is no more than 185 percent of the poverty level, they should qualify for reduced-price meals.

    Đang chơi bàiThe summer food service program is open to all kids and teens 18 and under at locations around the country. Find a .

    Apply for School Meal Programs for Your Children

    Đang chơi bài You can do this at the beginning of the school year or at any time if circumstances change.

    Learn How to Get Help or File a Complaint About School Meal Programs

    Contact your local school or school district for more information.

    - Provides coupons for fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs. Use them at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community farms.

    • - Provides a monthly package of 

    Find Out If You're Eligible for State Food Programs for Seniors

    You may be eligible if you're:

    • 60 or older
    • Have an income at or below 185% of the
    • Live in an area that offers either program
      • Check the  to see if your state offers the program. 
      • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and five Indian Tribal Organizations participate in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. 

    Apply to State Food Programs for Seniors

    • Đang chơi bài to apply.

    • to apply.

    Other Food Programs 

    Đang chơi bàiYou may qualify for other programs including:

    Check with your senior community center to learn about other local resources.

    for your area, you may qualify for . 

    Learn About D-SNAP 

    The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is also known as food stamps for disaster situations. D-SNAP provides one month’s worth of benefits on a debit-type card that you can use at most grocery stores.

    • Once your state sets up a D-SNAP program, you’ll have about a week to apply.

    • Đang chơi bàiIf you qualify, you’ll receive benefits within three days.

    Find Out If You Qualify for D-Snap

    Đang chơi bàiYou must live where:

    • The president has for the disaster area
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) has approved states to operate D-SNAP in a disaster area
    • Your state has requested and received FNS approval to operate D-SNAP

    You may qualify for D-SNAP even if you wouldn't normally qualify for regular SNAP (food stamps) because:

    • You may be out of work due to the disaster

    • You may be facing costly home repairs

    If you already receive SNAP, you can apply for D-SNAP if the amount you’d receive is more than you get under SNAP.

    As a separate benefit, you may be able to get for your children or your entire family. This is provided through the school meals programs.

    Apply for D-SNAP

    Đang chơi bàiContact to apply for D-SNAP or to find the location of special application sites throughout the affected disaster area. 

    Share This Page:

    Do you have a question?

    Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

    Last Updated: November 23, 2020