Top Government Food Aid Programs for 2021

More than 35 million Americans struggle with food shortage and hunger. If you’re unsure about what to do, just know there are plenty of options available to you through Federal Food Aid Programs.

First things first: If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273). Information is available in English and Spanish.

Keep reading to learn about today’s top government food aid programs.

COVID-19 Food Assistance and Meal Programs

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the government has made it possible to qualify for more assistance. Those with SNAP benefits may be eligible for more aid.

If you’re a parent, you can now pick up your children’s school meals and eat them at home. And you can also sign up for food programs online rather than in person. These new features will help keep your family protected.

SNAP Food Benefits

It’s a good idea to reach out to your state’s social service agency to see if you qualify for SNAP assistance and other meal programs. Find out more on

If you meet the state’s income limits you can have funds issued to your electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card each month.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program

This program is a great short-term solution for women and children to get healthy food. To find out if you qualify and apply, visit Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

This program also offers nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics. Usually, these services are provided at hospitals, community centers, and schools, to name a few.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

This federal program provides relief to low-income people, including the elderly, free of charge. They send about half a billion dollars worth of food every year to food banks all over the country.

Most food and nutrition programs are handled at the state and local levels. Visit the USDA’s Food and Nutritional Service website and select the state you live in to learn more.

State Food Programs for Seniors

If you’re 60 or older and meet the income requirements, you have a few options to choose from.

Seniors Farmers Market

Get coupons for fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy food. To see if you qualify, contact your state Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program office.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

Get a monthly package of healthy foods. To apply visit your state Commodity Supplemental Food Program office.