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Salvation Army free food banks and emergency pantries.

The Salvation Army provides free food, groceries and basic needs. The Christian, faith based charity tries to help feed struggling and low-income families in all cities. The Salvation Army operates free food banks from Monday to Friday from almost all of their local social service centers. The charity organization is involved in feeding millions of families each year, with most groceries giving to children, the unemployed or low-income as well as elderly. Find free Salvation Army food bank as well as their hours near you below.

The food pantries at the Salvation Army, many of which are client choice centers, will offer qualified people a number of goods, ranging from canned groceries to Ensure for senior citizens, infant formula, healthy snacks for children, free food and more.

Find a location of a Salvation Army food shelf, distribution center or pantry that is near you below. The charity operates in almost every major county, city, and town across the nation with the centers open hours per day. In general, the Salvation Army will giveaway free food to anyone in need, but their programs do rely on both donations and volunteers.

Free client choice food pantries at the Salvation Army

Many of the free, Salvation Army emergency food pantries are client choice, meaning the family or person in need “shops” for the exact grocery items they want for their household and they are not just handed a box of supplies. If a food bank can’t provide the help that is needed to the client, then referrals may be given to other pantries near you.

The pantries may have many items for families or individuals. It can include, but is not limited to, spaghetti sauce, Pork and Beans, Peanut butter & Jelly, chili beans, Cereals, Laundry detergent, tomatoes, tuna, rice dishes, Canned vegetables, pasta, Toiletries, paper towels, and much more. There may also be free, special holiday food boxes at Easter, Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas. When a resident, such as a senior citizen or disabled person can’t make it to the food bank, a Meals on Wheels service may be able to deliver what is needed.

Some centers not only give out free boxes or bags of food, but they may serve hot meals too. It may be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. As some of the Salvation Army food banks also have free soup kitchens on site as well that feed the poor, homeless, and even lonely.




Salvation Army long term free food assistance programs

In addition to providing free groceries or household supplies, such as paper products, cleaning supplies, etc. the Salvation Army case managers will also help families sign up for public assistance programs that address hunger. The case worker can provide information on the terms and conditions of each federal or state government program, help clients fill out the paperwork, and direct them to human service offices if needed.

Some of the most widely used programs include SNAP food stamps, WIC - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, USDA free school lunches, summer camp snacks, and many more. The Salvation Army can often help low income parents or those living in poverty with applications to those benefit programs as well as many others.

Food banks that Salvation Army operates by state

Each state is listed below with counties and/or towns on the state pages well. Note that, like almost all charities, the Salvation Army has limited resources. The food pantries are not open all hours or days. It is recommended that any potential applicant call in advance to both get the hours as well as learn about the application process.









District of Columbia



Hawaii and Honolulu County





















New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







West Virginia


The Salvation Army operates nationwide. They have a number of free food distribution centers that are generally from all day, most days of the week. Struggling families or anyone in need can get free groceries, personal toiletries and other items from the charity. In addition to the resources above, locate additional Salvation Army hunger prevention programs

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By Jon McNamara


















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