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Food banks and food pantries.

Find food banks and free food pantries to turn to for help. The distribution centers, including drive thru locations, will pass out free boxes of food, groceries, personal hygiene supplies and other items to low-income families. The charities and churches help feed the homeless, low income, and people with little or no money. Find a food bank or pantry near you, including centers that are open today.

The distribution centers assist people of all backgrounds. Free food is provided to single mothers, senior citizens, the homeless as well as low-income families that are going thru a hardship. A number of the pantries offer a drive thru food pantry that is open daily as well. Or volunteers deliver items to the homebound or disabled.

Get help from a food pantry or a free food bank

Many of the food banks operated by a church or charity are client-choice, which means they allow the family or individual to “shop” for only the type of food they need. Other pantries will pass out a pre-packed box of groceries or other supplies The exact type of help offered to qualified individuals will depend on the food bank or pantry, as resources vary.

Based on the food bank, get free canned groceries or fresh food. This can include cereal, pasa, rice, cheese, dairy items, meats, fresh fruit, gluten free stuff, produce, eggs or vegetables. Some will provide bread, baby formula, frozen food, low-salt or gluten free food, ensure to the elderly and other canned items or fresh perishables today.

  • A food pantry will also try to focus on dietary needs of kids, infant or senior citizens - people of all ages will find the healthy food they need. Many also have cultural specific meals as well as holiday baskets. Single moms or people that lack transportation can sometimes get deliveries from a food pantry near them as well.

In addition, many pantries give out of other supplies. This includes personal hygiene items, household cleaning stuff, Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, feminine goods, laundry detergent and paper products. An individual will just need to call the distribution center near them to get the specifics on the food assistance programs administered.

 

 

 

Many of these locations also rely on government agencies and the generosity of the community at large to donate to them. They support them in the form of providing surplus government commodities. Note pantries may have a small number of fresh or shelf-stable food products that are past expiration dates, but those items are still perfectly safe to eat. Learn more on food expiration dates at pantries.

Organizations near you that have a food bank or pantry

Food banks, pantries and distribution centers are located at a wide range of church and local charity organizations as well as national groups. Charities like the Salvation Army, Saint Vincent de Paul parishes or Catholic Charities will run a distribution center at their local branches and give free food daily to clients. Feeding America will also have free food boxes, drive thru pantries, pet food, soup kitchens and other distribution centers near you as well.

  • In general, the hours are limited but most communities have at least one or more pantries open today. In every community, no matter the size of the town, county, or city, there will be a local free food bank or distribution center near you. Select a state below, or find a list of places for free food near you.

Referrals are always available from a food bank as well. Even if a social service agency or charity does not operate a free food pantry, they can usually refer the applicant to a location in their community. Or they help low-income families apply for benefit programs to help feed their family. As the goal of most charities, churches and non-profits is to help people and low income families get the food they need.

The charities or church run distribution centers will also address both emergency and long term needs. Free food banks and pantries have various hours. However, when open, they can give away free food on an almost immediate basis - today, tomorrow, weekends or any day. There are also centers with drive-thru services for convenience. Families with no money or that are on government assistance, such as SNAP or WIC, can get free emergency food as well.

Food banks, and the staff on site, help people apply for government benefits and grocery assistance programs. The federal government runs a large number of hunger prevention programs for the low income as well as families living in poverty. There may also be help from state benefits as well as county organizations. Applications to these free food programs are available at most pantries and charities. More on government food assistance programs.

 

 

 

 

Salvation Army food pantries offer boxes of groceries. The Christian faith based charity supports people regardless of their religion, race, immigration status or age. Free food banks, soup kitchens, emergency financial support and other feeding programs are located at each local center. They help the poor, indigent, immigrants, single moms, homeless and struggling families. Find details on Salvation Army free food banks.

Local churches often have small free food banks for people in the immediate community. The resources provided vary, but there will generally be boxes of groceries, produce, baked goods including eggs, and also free paper products. Everyone from single mothers to families living in poverty can get help from a food banks at a church or religious organization. Find churches that help with food near you.Food bank or food pantry near you

Food Stamps or EBT cards are available at many pantries. Tens of millions of Americas  receive some form of food vouchers (EBT card) from the federal government supported SNAP program. The SNAP food stamps, which  can provide the low income free and reduced cost food. More on SNAP food stamps.

  • Free emergency SNAP benefits can be provided to families with no money or a low-income in a matter of a couple days. Each state has an expedited/emergency food stamp program that immediately processes applications. It can help feed families in a financial hardship or crisis by ensuring the EBT card is issued in a matter of hours or day(s). Find more details on applying for emergency food stamps near you today.

Feeding America is a leading non-profit agency that works with food banks, soup kitchens and other distribution centers in all 50 states. The organization provides groceries, perishable items, free boxes of food, salt free food, milk, and more to its regional partners. Those locations then serve low income families. Many of the food pantries also are open today and provide help ASAP. Find Feeding America locations.

Soup kitchens serve free meals and many have small, on site pantries. Many places give hot meals today, in particular the Salvation Army or local churches. They will have a free hot breakfast, lunch or dinner or even deliver free or frozen food to the homebound. Many charities feed people during the holidays too. The poor, homeless, and those in a short term crisis can all get free hot or cold meals from a number of places that may be near you. Find a list of Salvation Army soup kitchens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free home delivery of meals is provided to the disabled, seniors or sick. A number of food pantries offer this service. However it is usually only available for senior citizens on social security or the handicapped with mobility issues who live on a low-income or have no money. Volunteers deliver food, groceries, hot meals, nutritional supplements, and other items. Read more on the Meals on Wheels home delivery service.

  • Get free pet food from a charity too. Seniors, the homebound and disabled can get dog or cat food, pet supplies and more from either a (1) food banks near them or a (2) Meals on Wheels type service. Some agencies will deliver the goods too. Learn more free pet food for seniors.

Get free coupons to save on food and groceries. Food banks often partner with local companies and retailers in the local community. Together they will provide consumers with significant savings from coupons that can be printed right at home or used on an appy. They can be used to pay for not only food and groceries, but also personal care items, pet supplies, and beverages. These can be used at any retailer, or combined with the services from a food bank, to save families even more more. Find free coupon deals.

Free holiday food, both at Christmas and Thanksgiving, is available from many food banks and pantries. Some provide free boxes of groceries as well as ingredients, or entire meals, along with small gifts or toys. Or they hold parties and gatherings for the entire family. There are often free holiday food baskets giveaway at a food bank near you. Find details on how to get free assistance at Christmas.

Womens Infant Children - WIC applications are offered. This in another popular government assistance program for low income individuals. Of particular emphasis is on ensuring newborns as well as pregnant mothers get the nutrition they need. Free or low cost baby formula, food items, and other nutritional support is available, often in the form of vouchers or debit cards. They also offer daily wellness and nutritional classes or workshops. Read more on WIC - Women Infant Children program.

Food banks near you and free food pantries

The free food banks listed below by state are just a sampling of the centers available. In addition to the locations noted, you will find phone numbers and contact information for organizations that give referrals. Case workers can direct you to a food bank or free food pantry location that may be closer to your home. Many are open multiple hours and will be open today as well as on weekends.

Alabama

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

 

 

 

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nevada

New Hampshire

 

 

 

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

There are several other ways to get information on food pantries, meal sites, and places for free food or hunger prevention programs. Families, seniors, single moms and others can learn about them from various sources, including Feeding America as well as Ample Harvest. Use those non-profits to learn more about food banks, their hours, and which are open daily. Or for details on free food banks and pantries that are near you and open today, dial 1-866-348-6479 (English) or 1-877-842-6273 (Spanish).

Need additional help from a food pantry?

Please send us an email @ info@needhelppayingbills.com Include your email address and state. It is never shared. The information is needed to send a reply on hunger prevention programs and local free food banks near you. Or visit or register in the community forum (the link is on the lower margin) and we will reply to a request there.

 

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By Jon McNamara

 

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