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COVID-19 FOOD Resources

For Massachusetts residents

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COVID-19 Resources

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Here is a list of food resources for anyone in Massachusetts seeking assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all available programs and that information is subject to change as information is continuously changing. 

 

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FoodSource Hotline

 

For anyone in Massachusetts who needs food assistance, start by calling the FoodSource Hotline. 

Here is your one-stop-shop to learn about all the resources available to help you. 

Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline is  toll-free and confidential, at 1-800-645-8333.

Hotline Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am - 7pm. Saturday: 10am - 2pm.

Our counselors can assist callers with SNAP (information, eligibility screening, and over-the-phone application assistance), finding free meals for kids and school meal sites, summer meal sites, P-EBT, local food pantries and meal programs, and more. 

Our counselors can assist callers in 180 languages. 

Financial Assistance for groceries

SNAP

 

SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A federal nutrition program (formerly known as food stamps) that provides monthly financial assistance to purchase groceries to Massachusetts residents who qualify.

Once enrolled, you will receive a monthly cash benefit on an EBT card that can be used just like a debit card for food shopping.

Here's what makes SNAP so special and unlike any other food assistance program in the country:

  1. Getting SNAP doesn’t take anything away from anyone else, it’s a resource that helps everyone buy the food they need. 
  2. SNAP gives you the freedom to shop for your own food — food that you like, that meets your dietary needs, allergy restrictions, and cultural preferences! 
  3. You can use SNAP to buy food at most places groceries are sold — grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies....even some farmer's markets and co-op programs. 
  4. All of the children in your household who attend school will automatically qualify for free school meals.
  5. SNAP recipients are also automatically enrolled in HIP—The Healthy Incentives Program! HIP helps you buy more fruits and vegetables at approved HIP vendors which include farmer's markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share programs. 

 

If you have lost your job or work hours because of COVID-19, you can apply for SNAP at any time. You do not have to wait to file an application and should learn if you are eligible. 

Find out if you are eligible for SNAP today by calling Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333If you are eligible, we can help you apply over the phone. 

You can also apply on your own online at DTA Connect.

 

Child Nutrition Program

Free Meals for Kids & Teens

Free meals are currently being provided for all kids and teens at sites across Massachusetts. These meals will continue to be provided through the end of the 20/21 school year.

All kids and teens are eligible for these meals, no registration or identification is required to pick them up. 

If you have questions about receiving meals from your school district, please contact them directly. 

Find free meals for kids, please note this information is continously updated.

 

Women, Infants, and Children

WIC

WIC is a federal nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, and other services free of charge to Massachusetts families who qualify.

During the COVID-19 crisis, people who receive WIC and would like to spend their benefits should plan to arrive at the grocery store early in the morning before items are cleared out for the day. You can call the store and find out what days they are restocking certain items. 

Contact your local WIC Office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition, or shopping.

 

To apply, first visit the WIC eligibility page. If you belive you are eligible, you can apply online for WIC. 

Families can also call WIC at 617-721-6601 or 1-800-942-1007 Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm. If you hear a recording, please leave a message with your name and telephone number.

Parents, grandparents and foster parents may apply for children under the age of five years who are in their care. Visit mass.gov for WIC updates. 

Pandemic EBT for eligible students

P-EBT

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 authorized the payment of P-EBT food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act, if not for a school closure. These temporary food benefits are to help cover the cost of meals children would otherwise would have received at school.

 

2019/2020 school year 

  • All Massachusetts families with school aged children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program are eligible. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students. A list of the schools that provide free meals to all students can be found here.
  • There were a total of two issuances of P-EBT benefits, a total of $399 in benefits, per eligible child. 
  • If you have not yet received a card from 2019/2020 school year, but believe you are eligible, call the FoodSource Hotline  at 1-800-645-8333 and we will submit your information to DTA.
  • If you have lost or thrown away you card, you will need to wait until October 1st to request a new one. On October 1st you can visit  DTAConnect.com/pebt to place your request. DTA is not taking requests to replace cards for September benefits until October 1st and the portal will not be set up for these requests until that date.

 

2020/2021 school year

  • More P-EBT benefits will be issued in September 2020 at a rate of $5.86 per day. 

You will get September P-EBT funds if your student (s): 

  1. Your student is eligible for benfits if they qualify for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program, AND their school building has been closed due to a delayed start in September

  2. Your student is eligible for benefits if they qualify for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program,  AND your student is learning at home for at least 5 days in a row in September.
  3. If both are true, you will receive benefits for both the delayed start days as well as the qualifying stay-at-home days.

 

The P-EBT amount is based on each student’s school learning situation confirmed by their school in September and may vary from student to student, even within a family.  If you think your student qualifies but you have not received a card or a letter by mid to late October, call the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363.​​​​​​

Need Help?

I need my student's case number to activate my P-EBT card.  Get your student's case number online by entering their P-EBT card number into the P-EBT Case Information Form

I am still waiting for my card for P-EBT benefits from last school year. Complete the P-EBT Card Replacement Request Form with as much information as possible. If DTA finds a match for your child, expect a card in 3-4 weeks. If they do not, someone from DTA will call you for more information in the days following. Please do not complete the form more than once per child.

I lost/threw out my card. Complete the P-EBT Card Replacement Request Form with as much information as possible. If DTA finds a match for your child, expect a card in 3-4 weeks. If they do not, someone from DTA will call you for more information in the days following. Please do not complete the form more than once per child.

For all other questions about P-EBT, who will receive benefits, and more, please visit www.map-ebt.org

 

Home delivered meals for seniors

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a program that offers well-balanced meals to adults through home delivery or congregated dining sites.

Meals on Wheels is run by senior nutrition agencies located throughout Massachusetts. To find the closest agency to you, call 1-800-243-4636.

If you need home-delivered meals, staff will make an appointment for a home-delivered meal assessment.

free emergency groceries

Food Pantries

Food pantries provide free emergency groceries to individuals and families in their local communities.

For the latest information about pantry hours and operations, please visit:

 

Please Note: If you are seeking support from food pantries at this time, and are not currently enrolled in SNAP, Project Bread strongly encourages you to learn if you are eligible for SNAP benefits and to apply. This will provide you with consistent, monthly cash assistance to purchase your own groceries.