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Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens

SNAP/Food Stamps

Do you sometimes have to choose between paying your bills and having money to buy food?  That’s when SNAP benefits can really help. The Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, helps put healthy foods on the table for more than 40 million people each month. Eligibility takes into account your age, family size, citizenship status (legal immigrants who are seniors may be eligible), household income and certain expenses – so it’s worth checking out.

Check your eligibility for SNAP (Food Stamps)
Watch stories of New Yorkers helped by SNAP

The SNAP/food stamp program works like a bank account. Each month, your SNAP/food stamp benefits are put into your account.  You are also given a plastic EBT card, which you can use at grocery stores, phamacies that sell food, green markets, co-ops, even COSCO. You use it the same way you might use a bankcard or a credit card.

Coupons for fresh produce through the City’s Health Bucks Program are also available to Food Stamp users at participating New York City farmers markets. The produce coupons increase the value of food stamp benefits by 40% when redeemed at the markets.

Applications for food stamps can be obtained by calling 311 or visiting a local food stamp center.  Your local senior center can also be of assistance in applying.

Get more information about how to apply, apply online or download an application

Free Food and Assistance Guides

Hunger Free America has compiled comprehensive Guides to free food programs in thirteen different areas within the five boroughs. Guides contain information on how and where to access the federal Food Stamp Program, the WIC Program (Women, Infants and Children), school and summer meals, senior meals and other free assistance resources. Each provides a map showing the locations of an area Food Stamp Office and WIC site, as well as area soup kitchens and food pantries.

Visit Hunger Free America and download guides

Food Help Today

If you need food help today, call 1-866-348-6479, the National Hunger Hotline. This hotline can direct you to a nearby program. It’s a free call, Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm. If you need help during other hours, visit the National Hunger Clearinghouse (WhyHunger). Click on Resources and choose Resource Directory from the drop-down menu. Then scroll down and click on Get Help.

Visit the National Clearinghouse