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There are several government-supported non-profit organizations and institutions that offer free food near you. Low-income people in the United States have several alternatives. In the United States, the most needy people have at their disposal several alternatives to improve and guarantee their food for free or at a low cost. These alternatives come both from federal sources:
such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or from local organizations that seek to attend to those cases that require it most, providing subsidies for the purchase of food in associated businesses, delivering products and even ready-made food that can be requested daily.
How to find free food banks near me in the United States?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The first alternative that people should consider when looking for free food banks is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an initiative of the Department of Agriculture (USDA, for its acronym in English) that previously consisted of the delivery of coupons that could redeemed at retail stores for food. A few decades ago, these coupons were replaced by an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card, which receives the full subsidy as a credit balance so that people can buy directly at authorized stores. The SNAP program exists throughout the country with some local variants of its name.
Although it is a federal program, these differences are due to the fact that each state administers it according to its own laws. For this program, several eligibility criteria apply that must be consulted with state agencies before applying, which involves both the submission of documents and a series of interviews necessary to determine if the applicant really needs the subsidy. With your approval, SNAP guarantees a monthly amount that, in addition to being exchanged for food, can also be withdrawn by the beneficiary in cash.
At the same time, there is the national network run by Feeding America, an organization that has set up soup kitchens, shelters, and community agencies to provide food to those most in need and fight hunger, a problem that afflicts many people in the United States.
According to data from this organization, its network is expanded to 200 food banks that translate into 60,000 pantries and result in approximately 6.6 billion meals that are guaranteed thanks to the support they receive from donors and other organizations.
Churches and other organizations
Local organizations such as Ample Harvest and Second Harvest also exist in the country. The latter has gained a lot of presence in the Silicon Valley area, in California. Although these centers are the largest, they are not the only ones, there are many others that are run by non-profit state and community organizations. In the case of churches, The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Society, are in charge of large communal soup kitchens and pantries in which they offer free food or, failing that, at low cost.
Generally, the only requirement that these spaces ask of people is that they reside in the community to which they go. Non -profit organizations No Kid Hungry and Angel Food also run these types of free services. Both work thanks to voluntary donations and the food they offer usually varies depending on where people go. In some cases, the modality can also vary: certain places allow you to eat in their facilities and others allow people to take their food.
Similarly, people applying for this type of help may come across places that offer redeemable coupons. In the country, the United States Hunger Line is also available, a telephone number that people can call in case of dire need. In other words, if people find themselves in an emergency due to lack of food, they only have to dial 1-877-842-6273 to be attended. The line is active Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (EST).