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food security

I am in quarantine or self-isolation and need access to food. What do I do?

For those in quarantine or self-isolation, the state has launched RI Delivers, which details a number of food and medication delivery resources to help Rhode Islanders get the supplies they need, while adhering to public health guidelines.

I need food assistance.  What resources are available to me?

Many Rhode Islanders may be experiencing food insecurity for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  There are a number of resources available on the federal, state, and local levels to assist Rhode Islanders in getting the food assistance they need.

Food Banks

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is providing food assistance at locations across the state.  You can find food assistance services being offered in your town HERE.

Furthermore, the RI Food Policy Council has created an Interactive Food Access Map, and is regularly updating their website with information on food access opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Federally funded and state administered, SNAP is a lifeline that enables low-income individuals and families to put food on the table by providing monthly benefits to purchase food supplies.  Eligibility is based on income, expenses, resources, and the number of individuals in a household.

Congress recently added additional funding for SNAP, which will temporarily allow the RI Department of Human Services (DOH) to increase benefits to eligible households.

To learn more about SNAP, including the application process, you can visit the RI DOH website HERE.

Child Nutrition Programs

To ensure children continue to receive meals while school is not in session, Congress enacted an additional $8.8 billion in nutritional support.  Please visit RIDOH’s website HERE to find your nearest “grab and go” school meal location.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC provides nutrition counseling, food assistance, and referrals to low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding a child under one year old, or who have delivered a baby within six months, along with children from birth to five years old and their caregivers who qualify.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided an additional $500 million for WIC to support low-income pregnant women or mothers with young children.

Further information on WIC, including how to apply, can be found HERE.

Senior Assistance

Meals on Wheels delivers meals to Rhode Islanders in need over the age of 60.  More information, including registration, can be found HERE.

Additionally, the RI Office of Healthy Aging details local resources available to Rhode Island seniors, ranging from delivery to early-morning grocery hours for seniors and more.  This information can be found HERE.

Added Flexibilities for Nutrition Assistance Programs

Congress also authorized, and USDA continues to approve, waivers and added flexibilities to nutrition assistance programs, in order to expand access during this public health emergency.  An updated list of the waivers and flexibilities that have been approved for Rhode Island is available HERE.

National Food and Nutrition Service COVID-19 Response and Resources

National Hunger Hotline: The hotline provides food assistance and other nutrition and social services information to low-income individuals or communities.  The hotline can be reached at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) from Monday through Friday (7 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET).

For more information, you can visit their website HERE.

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