• Priscilla Myles, MPH

Food Assistance & COVID-19

During the Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, many seniors may find it difficult to access food due to fear of being out in the public, food desserts, transportation challenges, etc. The good thing is that there is help available for you or your loved one. Currently, many grocery delivery services are fully booked for those who may have thought about that as a workaround to personally going grocery shopping. One alternative is to call a home care agency, like Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers to assist with errand services. In addition, there are many free options to support seniors such as:

Meals on Wheels

With a network of over 5,000 programs, Meals on Wheels is offered in nearly every community in America. Meals on Wheels volunteers are committed to continue delivery of nutritious food to homebound older adults and ensuring their health and social well-being.

Enter your zip code to search for your local program.

Food Banks

Feeding America operates over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries across the United States, each serving a large area. Many food banks are adapting the way they serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic to follow physical distancing guidelines, such as setting up smaller community drop-off points.

Use the food bank locator tool to find one in your community.

SNAP/Food Stamps

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people to afford food at over 250,000 participating grocery stores and shops across the country. While you must have limited income to get SNAP, many older adults and persons with disabilities can deduct medical expenses above $35/month to help get SNAP and increase the number of monthly SNAP benefits. Find your state’s SNAP application.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service, which runs SNAP, has given states options to make it easier for families to get SNAP during the coronavirus pandemic, including not requiring a face-to-face interview, and temporarily raising the SNAP benefit to the maximum amount. Call your state hotline to see what may be offered in your area. Remember: SNAP can only be used for purchasing food and seeds for growing food. It cannot be used to buy pet food, paper products, and other toiletries. However, changes to broaden what SNAP can be used for are being discussed at the state and federal level.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

This program provides food and nutrition help at no cost. If you meet the program guidelines, you can pick up the food from your local food pantries or soup kitchens.

The types of food you can get are different depending on where you live, but usually include a lot of shelf-stable items such as pasta, dried beans, canned fruits and vegetables, and soups. To find out how to apply for the program, please contact your State Agency. They can let you know if you meet the program guidelines and where you can get the food.

You can also find out whether you can get TEFAP, SNAP, and other food benefits by going to and completing a free, confidential screening.

Other Resources

Many communities are mobilizing local volunteers and resources to assist those in need during this pandemic. To find out what additional help may be offered in your area we encourage you to contact the following:

  • Please call your state or local 211 services (or visit

  • The Eldercare Locator can connect you with a variety of services, including transportation and benefits. Dial 1-800-677-1116 (weekdays, 9 am – 8 pm EST)

  • can help you find benefits that cover a variety of needs, not just-food. Support your receive can free up room in your budget for food, too. Make sure to complete a full, confidential screening

Source: National Council on Aging

Call 240.815.1809 to speak with a representative from Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers today!

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