Where to Turn for Free Food

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Posted on 10/07/2010

Roughly one in six Americans are insecure about whether they have an adequate supply of food. As millions struggle to keep meals on the table, there are lots of organizations ready to help by offering free food. If you or someone you know is struggling to afford food, here are some resources that provide free food.

Feeding America
Feeding America is the largest hunger-relief charity in the US, providing food to more than 37 million people each year. They’ve got a network of over 200 food banks serving all 50 states. To find a food bank near you, check out this comprehensive list of Feeding America food banks.

Ample Harvest
About 100 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year in the US. Much of that is from local gardeners who end up growing more than their families can eat. That’s why Ample Harvest exists. They’re connecting gardeners with food banks so that fresh produce can go to those who need it most.

Call 2-1-1
If you’re in need of immediate assistance simply dial 2-1-1. It’s a United Way line staffed 24-hours a day, 365 days a year that helps people connect with available resources in their area, including organizations offering free food.

Pet Food Banks
Pets are going hungry, too. If you’re in need of pet food assistance, here is a list of national resources compiled by SaveOurPetsFoodBank.org. Some organizations require pet owners to meet certain qualifications; other groups provide free pet food to anyone in need.

Meals on Wheels
Besides not being able to afford food, some Americans can’t leave home to take advantage of food banks or soup kitchens. That’s where Meals on Wheels comes in. Meals on Wheels provides free hot meals to disabled or elderly folks who are home-bound. Volunteers deliver the free food daily. Find a local Meals on Wheels location in your area.

By Alison Storm

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