Information and assistance from National Hunger Hotline.

Operating across the country, the National Hunger Clearinghouse provides guidance to anyone facing hunger and that needs assistance in obtaining food. The non-profit that operates this, known as WhyHunger, is focused on helping during an emergency and also providing information on long term support, so they work to tackle all challenges that are being faced by the individual.

Anyone can use their services, regardless of age, race, or religion, however most people requesting support are struggling with short term challenges. It may be an unexpected job loss or reduction in work hours, and many people are struggling to feed their families due to unexpected bills, such as a car repair. No matter the reason, there can be information provided on programs that tackle hunger.

The agency can not only direct the needy to food, groceries, meal sites, and similar resources, but they also have information on social service programs. These tend to be more effective at tacking the root cause, and this will include employment and similar challenges. Or clients can be referred to case management for additional support.

Find information from the WhyHunger Clearinghouse

If someone is struggling, they should call the National Hunger Hotline. The agency is constantly working on collecting information on local food pantries in all parts of the country. They also assemble data on soup kitchens, churches, and also social service agencies that all work to provide food and nutrition to the needy. So the number of resources available is very extensive.

When requesting help, the individual will be provided this information, at no cost to them. They can learn about a number of resources and programs, both government and charity. Or there can even be referrals to smaller soup kitchens at local churches or local sites. The main number to dial is below.

National Hunger has details on federal and state programs too

While local pantries are always an option, and tend to be effective in dealing with emergencies, the Clearinghouse can also provide guidance on both national and statewide resources. There is assistance for children, senior citizens, pregnant women, and low income families. While the government does have limited resources, they can also be part of the solution when it comes to combating hunger. Some of the main ones, and a brief description, are below. The clearinghouse can provide more information on them, and even insight into the application process.




  • Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is when a family will be given a card to use towards the purchase of their groceries.
  • WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, is requested by many callers to the National Hunger Hotline. Free formula, food for babies or infants, as well as support for pregnant women is provided.
  • Children can also benefit from Summer Food Service Programs or Free School Meals.
  • A few other examples include Commodity Supplemental Food Program or resources for people on Indian Reservations.

WhyHunger also advocates for the poor and low income on hunger and other challenges. Staff partner with faith based groups, charity networks and others to start Grassroot campaigns to help the less fortunate. They provide other tools as well, such as a Food Security Learning Center. This is another resource that offers information on local communities and shows the struggle that many families have when it comes to obtaining food security.

Fundraising will also be organized by the National Hunger Clearinghouse and its partners. There may be concerts held or local food drives, and the items are then presented to local pantries for distribution. Many people also donate to the cause. So not only is information available to callers, but the non-profit is also doing its best to raise awareness and money for the cause at a national level.

For more information, call the hotline at 1-866-348-6479. The days of availability will be Monday to Friday from 9 until 6 EST. All information is provided in English or Spanish as well.



By Jon McNamara

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