During this difficult time, many people in the community have become concerned about whether or not there will be a sufficient food supply throughout the remainder of this pandemic. Grocery store officials have made it clear that there will be no lapse in the supply chain and that stores will be regularly stocked. However, it is recommended for everyone to just buy what they need to ensure others are able to have regular access to food and other necessary items such as papertowls, toilet paper, and soap.
If you cannot afford your groceries, are a parent who is concerned about your child losing his free or reduced breakfast and lunch, or a senior who relies on home-delivered meals, please check out the resources below.
Food Assistance for Students:
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) provides eligible families with a one-time payment for each child who previously received free or reduced-price meals. P-EBT works the same way the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do and will help families get the food they need during the current pandemic. The application for P-EBT will be open until August 21, 2020. FAQ and more information here: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-information-texans/pandemic-ebt-p-ebt-due-covid-19.
USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse
The USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse aides low-income individuals or communities by providing food assistance and other nutrition and social services information, serving as an important tool in combating hunger and promoting economic mobility. The clearinghouse is accessible two ways:
- By Phone: Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline, which operates from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time. If you need food assistance, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE to speak with a representative who will find food resources such as meal sites, food banks, and other social services available near your location.
- By Text: Text “97779” to the automated service with a question that may contain a keyword such as “food”, “summer”, “meals”, etc. to receive an automated response to resources located near an address and/or zip code.
Houston Food Bank
The Houston Food Bank and its partners are working diligently to reduce the risk of food insecurity in our community during the coronavirus outbreak. The Houston Food Bank remains operational, while implementing the best available safety precautions. Please use the Houston Food bank map below to find your closest food bank or click here.
- Call the Houston Food Bank Helpline at 832-369-9390
- Apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) with help from the Houston Food Bank Community Assistance Program
- Call the helpline at 832-369-9390
- Text FOOD to 855-308-2282 to find the nearest food pantry in the area
K-12 Food Assistance
In addition to the several media outlets keeping a running list of these sites, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has repurposed its School Performance Website to show sites where meals are available along with the relevant information on when they are being offered. This is a rapidly expanding list, so be sure to check with your local school district or media for the most up to date information. Please use the MealFinder Map below to see the nearest school meal pick-up site to you and your family.
Every child in your household under 18 years of age will be given a meal at any of the school meal distribution sites; however, please note that each child must be present in order to recieve a meal. Please call your Independent School District within the TX-29th Congressional District to learn if it is providing FREE meals for children.
Meals for Seniors
The Houston Health Department is open and providing core services, with the following temporary modifications: The home delivered meals program is expanded to include participants who normally receive meals at congregate meal sites, temporarily closed to promote safety with this vulnerable population. Click here to learn more about the expanded home delivered meals operations in the City of Houston. For more information call: 832-393-4301
Find a Meal - Meals on Wheels Texas
If you are a senior in need of a meal during this difficult time, please use the Meal Finder on the Meals on Wheels Texas website to find the Meals on Wheels provider closest to you.