Resources for Pennsylvanians
If you are in immediate need of assistance, PA 211 can help. Start by searching their online resource database or texting your zip code to 898-211 to message with a live resource specialist. You can also call 2-1-1 for live help, but please note that they are experiencing high call volumes and wait times are longer than normal. The United Way has also produced a guide to PA COVID-19 Resources that offers links to resources related to housing, utilities, food, federal stimulus, financial assistance, employment, and more.
Pennsylvanians out of work and without pay or with significantly reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 are eligible to receive state and federally sourced foods from Pennsylvania's food banks and pantries.
The following Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania member food banks are working on the frontlines to offer food assistance services in each county. Please contact them directly for assistance or to find out how you can help support their mission. For an interactive map of food pantries, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Alliance for Nonprofit Resources Inc. (serving Butler County)
Bucks County Opportunity Council Inc. (serving Bucks County)
Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (serving Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union and York counties)
Chester County Food Bank (serving Chester County)
Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County (serving Mercer County)
Fayette County Community Action Food Bank (serving Fayette County)
Food for Families (serving Cambria County)
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (serving Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset and Washington counties)
Food Helpers (serving Washington County)
Helping Harvest (serving Berks and Schuylkill counties)
Indiana County Community Action Program (serving Indiana County)
Philabundance (serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties)
Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania (serving Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike and Wayne counties)
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania (serving Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Venango and Warren counties)
Share Food Program (serving Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties)
Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank (serving Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties)
Westmoreland County Food Bank (serving Westmoreland County)
York County Food Bank (serving York County)
State and Federal Resources
Responding to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania Guide
Please visit Pennsylvania's Responding to COVID-19 guide to find comprehensive, up-to-date information about response efforts, resources, and assistance that may be available to you or your family.
WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
The special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) established the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers' markets. FMNP was specifically designed to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants by partnering with local markets and stands.
To increase ease of access to participating FMNP markets and farm stands, the Department of Agriculture launched the PA FMNP Market Locator mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. The app is free to download in the Google Play and App Store. // Learn more about WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
School Nutrition Programs
Free school meals (breakfast/lunch) are available for children from families receiving food stamp benefits or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and children from families with incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level. Reduced price school meals are available for children from families whose incomes are between 130% and 185% of the poverty level. // Learn more about School Nutrition Programs
*Free meals may be
available for children 18 years and younger, regardless of household income,
during the 2020-21 school year and through September 30, 2021. Find
a meal service site near you.
Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
This program provides eligible low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for qualified foods. Recipients are given a list of participating farmers and farmers' markets when they receive their vouchers. These vouchers are redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Pennsylvania. Each eligible recipient receives four $6.00 SFMNP vouchers to redeem at a qualified farmers' markets or roadside stands. There are over 1,150 SFMNP participating farmers at 828 farm stands and 202 farmers' markets in PA. // Learn more about Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes commodity foods available to State Distributing Agencies. The state agencies then provide the food to local organizations that directly serve the public (food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, etc.). These local organizations distribute the food to eligible recipients for household consumption or use them to prepare and serve meals in a congregate setting. // Learn more about The Emergency Food Assistance Program
Senior Food Box Program
The population served by Senior Food Box Program is similar to that served by USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), but also serves the elderly and provides food packages rather than the food vouchers that WIC participants receive. Those who are eligible cannot participate in both programs at the same time. The Senior Food Box Program food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the target population. Food packages include infant formula and cereal, non-fat dry and evaporated milk, juice, oats, pasta, peanut butter, canned meat, tuna, or poultry, and canned fruits and vegetables // Learn more about the Senior Food Box Program.
Medical Assistance (MA)
Medical Assistance, also known as Medicaid or HealthChoices (in PA) pays for health care services for eligible individuals // Learn more about eligibility and apply for Medical Assistance
State Food Purchase Program (SFPP)
Pennsylvania leads the country in providing food assistance for the needy under the SFPP. This program provides cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of food to low-income individuals. // Learn more about the State Food Purchase Program
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This is the new name for the Food Stamp program. These benefits are used to buy food and help eligible low-income households in Pennsylvania obtain more nutritious diets by increasing their food purchasing power at grocery stores and supermarkets. If you are eligible, you will receive a debit card called an ACCESS Card. You can use this card to buy food at grocery stores, supermarkets and other stores that accept them. // Learn more about SNAP
Unemployment Compensation Program (UC)
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) program provides temporary income support if you lose your job through no fault of your own or if you are working less than your full-time hours. If you qualify, you will receive money for a limited time to help you meet expenses while you seek new employment. // Learn more about Unemployment Compensation Program
Congregate and Home-Delivered Meals
These programs provide nutritious meals to individuals age 60 or older, and their spouses, free of charge. Meals can be delivered directly to eligible individuals' homes. Learn more about Congregate and Home Delivered Meals by calling your County Area Agency on Aging.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Also referred to as cash assistance, TANF provides cash assistance to pregnant women and dependent children and their parents or relatives who live with and care for them. // Learn more about TANF
Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, breastfeeding instructions, and counseling at WIC clinics. To support healthy eating, participants are given vouchers they can redeem at grocery stores for specific food items. // Learn more about WIC
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
The United State Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, also known as the Summer Meals Program, is a program established to ensure children continue to have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session. Kids age 18 and younger in low-income areas are provided free meals and program operators who offer those meals are reimbursed. All of the meals and snacks served through the SDSP meet federal nutrition standards, and require servings of grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables, and milk. // Learn more about SFSP
Food Rescue Organizations
The USDA estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply is wasted, and because of COVID-19, this issue is compounded by ongoing pressure on the food supply chain to produce more consumer sized goods and less commercial sized goods as more people are eating at home. The following organizations work to recover food across Pennsylvania and distribute it to people and organizations in need:
412 Food Rescue (serving Greater Pittsburgh)
Chester County Food Bank Food Rescue (serving Chester County)
Food Connect Group (serving Greater Philadelphia)
Food Recovery Network Pennsylvania (chapters exist at Allegheny College, Cabrini University, Drexel University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Lycoming College, Marywood University, Messiah College, Millersville University, Muhlenberg College, Saint Joseph's University, Shippensburg University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of the Sciences, Ursinus College, and West Chester University)
Fooding Forward (serving Greater Philadelphia)
Philly Food Rescue (serving Greater Philadelphia)
Rolling Harvest Food Rescue (serving Bucks and Montgomery Counties)
Sharing Excess (serving Greater Philadelphia)
Pet Food Resources
The PA Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of pet pantries in PA for pet owners experiencing hardships during the commonwealth's COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Before driving to one of these locations, it is recommended to call to ensure resources are available and check on methods for receiving.