Hunger is an issue that impact far too many people in the United States. Fortunately, there are many programs in place to help low-income families feed themselves. The impact of hunger has many adverse effects that often get overlooked.
Both the government and private businesses assist in the battle against hunger in this country. There are seven major food assistance programs run by the government:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Learn how SNAP provides a basic safety net to millions of people through benefits for eligible low-income families.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Find out how WIC safeguards the health of low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 through nutritious foods, information on healthy eating, and healthcare referrals.
Child Nutrition Programs
Learn about programs that offer food and nutrition assistance for children, including NSLP, SBP, SFSP and more.
Nutrition Programs for Seniors
Find food and nutrition programs that focus on the needs of older Americans.
Hunger and Food Security Resources
USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center. Find general information and resources on hunger and food security, including links to governmental and non-government organizations.
Food Distribution Programs
Learn about the USDA commodity distribution programs, including CSFP, FDPIR, and TEFAP.
Office of Head Start
DHHS. Administration for Children and Families. Find out about a program that assists pre-school aged children from low-income families by providing comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services.
There are a number of other programs that are generally run as charities that help provide food for the needy. There are many large national organizations such as Feed America and Catholic Charities but there are many other smaller groups that do great work providing food assistance throughout the country. The organizations usually fall in to three major categories:
- Food Banks – where organizations collect food donations and distribute them to facilities that distribute food – either as groceries or in the form of cooked food
- Food Pantries – these are the groups that hand out groceries to the needy and operate in all 50 states and territories of the country. More information about them can be found here.
- Soup Kitchens or Meal Programs – initially know as soup kitchens these facilities are now called Meal Programs and are run throughout the country by various charities.