IF YOU NEED HELP RIGHT AWAY
Some programs may direct deposit a short-term loan into your bank account.
1. Keep an eye on your local news stations.
Food drives can appear from time to time in your city. How do they get the word out so people can arrive and get the help they need? Usually via local news stations that let the public know where to go.
Does this mean you have to have your TV tuned to the news to see if any new food drives pop up? Of course not, as you can also buy the newspaper, go to the news station’s website, or visit their Facebook page for alerts.
2. Visit the government’s main assistance website.
While you’ll want to bookmark your local news station’s website and Facebook page to see if any food drives appear, here’s another site worth keeping tabs on: The USA.gov food assistance page. It’s the federal government’s official page on the subject, and it’s loaded with resources to keep you floating above water when it comes to nutrition.
Whether you need immediate food aid, food stamps, nutrition for women and young children, or food assistance for seniors and school lunches, you can find it all on this page.
3. Call the National Hunger Hotline.
Food assistance is just a phone call away with the National Hunger Hotline. The USDA is behind this helpful hotline that can give you nutritional help when you most need it.
Call 866-3-HUNGRY on Monday through Friday between 7 am and 10 pm Eastern, and you can get info in English or Spanish on food resources such as food drives, soup kitchens, and more.
If you prefer to communicate via text, you can do so by texting 9779 to the hotline with a question related to food. As long as you include a keyword like “food” or “meals” in your text, you will get an automated response to guide you.
If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources may be available to help you today.
4. Get in touch with your state’s social services.
Families in need can turn to social services in their state for help with a variety of issues well beyond just food. For instance, if you need help with childcare or employment, you could get it by simply contacting your state’s social services program.
To find yours, go here and pick your state or territory from the menu. On the next page, scroll down until you see the Social Services option. Click on it, and you should see a list of family services that can help you.
5. Find help in your community.
Community and religious organizations often play a huge role in feeding families when they’re hungry.
There are two main ways to find such organizations that offer food assistance. First, you can search for community or religious organizations in your city. Second, you could dial 211 to speak to an operator that can point you in the right direction for food.
If you need other forms of assistance, don’t hesitate to ask when talking to an organization or 211. Doing so will help you kill several birds with one stone.
6. Get food assistance from SNAP and WIC.
Two popular food assistance programs from the government are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC. SNAP is more for families in general, while WIC helps pregnant women and very young children.