The continued spread of the coronavirus and the closure of nonessential matters has had devastating effects across the country. One of those effects is increased hunger and general food insecurity, as more and more people are left without a salary, unable to feed themselves or their families.
If you are one of those people or suspect someone you know is in need, there are resources to find basic supplies and hot meals. For example, New York, which already has a robust network of food kitchens, recently announced that three meals a day will be provided to all New Yorkers in need, who can be picked up from more than 400 locations around the city. Below is some information for finding food aid in some of the largest and hardest hit U.S. cities. We will continue to update this post with new information, but please look up your local food bank or pantry for the latest information on opening hours and updated safety procedures.
Just as important, if your food is stable and you can afford it. consider making a donation to your local food bank. Most have stretched to some of the thinnest margins you can imagine, with conditions only going to worsen. Donations of food and / or money are now more important than ever.
New York City
As one of the hardest hit areas in the country, New York City has thousands of workers in the hospitality, retail and hospitality industries out of work. As of April 3, all New Yorkers will be able to receive three free meals a day at more than 430 locations in the five boroughs amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Families and children can pick up their meals between 7:30 AM and 1
According to the Chicago Food Bank, most food pantries and programs remain open and you can find a food program here. It is recommended to call first to confirm program hours and requirements.
Los Angelenos who need help putting food on the table during the coronavirus closings can get information from the Los Angeles Controller's Office, according to LA Daily News. The agency recently published information on where help is available, along with a map of where the Los Angeles Unified School District distributes free meals for children and where people can find food pantries.
Another city with an extremely large number of restaurant and service employees now out of work is New Orleans, where food banks have been pushed to the breaking point. Last month, the federal government agreed to release access to an emergency food supply for this type of crisis to counter the rising tide of food insecurity. If you're in New Orleans and need a hot meal, visit the Second Harvest Food Bank or call 1-855-392-9338 to find out how you qualify for food aid.
As the nation's fourth-largest city, Houston has a significant volume of food insecurity exacerbated only by the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit the Houston Food Bank for an interactive map and more information about the city's response to COVID-19 and the ongoing efforts to feed hungry Houstonians.
Michigan and its largest city, Detroit, are about to become one of the hardest hit regions in the country. This article outlines all programs that benefit residents of the state during the crisis.
This map on the San Jose Mercury News website features more than 400 food distribution sites, including free meal pick-up locations for students and seniors, food banks, and restaurants open for takeout. Residents of San Jose and Santa Clara County can type their address and get a list of all the nearest food distribution sites to their homes.
Like most cities, Philly has seen an increasing demand for food banks, according to the Share Food program, but the city hopes it can meet. Visit the website to learn more about the programs and whether you are eligible for assistance.
The Clark County School District provides breakfast and lunch during school closings. For a complete list of sites and opening times, visit the Three Square website. Seniors who are at least 60 years old and need food assistance can call 702-765-4030 Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. to find out which source is best for them. They can also provide more information on SNAP benefits and nearby pantries, and discuss home delivery options.
Atlanta Community Food Bank offers a new function to help families and seniors during the crisis. According to the news website 11 Alive, a "Text for Help" feature identifies the three closest food pantries when you text "findfood" (no spaces) or "comida" (for Spanish) to 888-976-2232 . Texters will be asked to provide their zip code to better assist them.
Washington was one of the first and most severely affected states and is still feeling the effects of the outbreak and economic halt. The Seattle Food Committee has put together a handy map to locate food aid in the city's six districts.