As our communities grapple with social and economic restrictions from the outbreak of COVID-19 the impact is already being felt by many families.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Assistance has provided the following guidance regarding how families can access emergency food assistance due to COVID-19 related food insecurity:
Who is eligible to get food from a food bank or food pantry?
If you are out of work without pay, you are eligible to receive food sourced from the state and federal government from a food bank or food pantry in Pennsylvania. This includes service workers who are unable to get shifts or hourly wage employees of non-essential businesses that have voluntarily closed due to COVID-19 mitigation. You will be asked to verbally complete a Self-Declaration of Need form, as signatures have been temporarily waived due to COVID-19. (Forms are also available in Spanish and Russian.) You will be asked to provide your household size and weekly income level as of the day you apply.
Will food banks be open?
Food banks are open and delivering food to many agencies, including pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. Please call or visit the website of your regional food bank to be directed to agencies in your community.
Where can I find a food bank or food pantry near me?
How do I get food from a food bank if I can’t leave my house because I am under isolation or quarantine?
If you or a family member is under isolation or quarantine, contact your local food bank to see if they have options to deliver food. If you are concerned about potential exposure, there are steps you and food banks can take to limit risk. The PA Department of Agriculture sent guidance to all food banks encouraging them to follow best practices to limit risk of exposure.
How will students access meals while schools are closed?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education offers information on accessing meals on its website.