Need Food for You and Your Family? We’re Here to Help.
These are challenging times, and everyone is going to need a little extra help. Second Harvest Heartland, alongside many community partners and programs, is here and ready to help fuel you, your family and our community through COVID-19. Together, we can get through this.
There are many options to finding meals—take the path that works best for you and let us know if you have any questions along the way.
Help with Food Now
You can only plan so much and sometimes...life just happens. If you are in immediate need of food, help is nearby—and can be accessed as soon as today. There are 816 food shelves, meal programs, food distributions, discount grocery stores, and more around the state, in all 87 Minnesota counties. Here’s where to start:
Food shelves (also known as food pantries) distribute free food directly to community members in need. Some food shelves distribute pre-packed food boxes and some allow visitors to pick the items they want off the shelves (like a grocery store). Find your nearest food shelf here.
Tip: Call ahead—hours and availability may have changed due to COVID-19.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 safety measures, most of these programs are offering takeaway meals only via contact-free pick-ups.
We’ve teamed up with community partners to get more fresh fruits and vegetables out to anyone who needs it. Find a list of upcoming free produce distributions here.
With the help of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), we’ve been able to host emergency grocery pop-ups in communities across Minnesota this summer. Contact your local food shelf for times and locations.
SFSP provides free meals and snacks at hundreds of meal sites across Minnesota—all summer long to all kids and teens 18 and under. Click here to find free meals near you, or download the free app “Free Meals for Kids.” Note that information shared will change as sites open and close throughout the summer, so be sure to check back often! These summer meals are served under the USDA "Summer Food Service Program," to help ensure that our children are fed during the out-of-school summer months.
Download the Free Meals for Kids app to find locations of schools and other sites that are providing meals and meal packs with days and hours of distribution. It also shows the distance and directions to the nearest site.
Fare For All offers affordable groceries and packages of produce and meat for up to 40% off retail prices. Fare For All has 38 locations throughout Minnesota where food packages are sold once per month. Click here to find a site near you.
Help for the Days Ahead
Whether you’ve used food assistance before the COVID-19 pandemic or are here for the first time, there are a number of state and federal programs available to help stretch your food dollars and make ends meet during difficult times.
SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) is a monthly financial benefit that helps you to purchase healthy food at your local grocery and convenience stores, farmer’s markets and even online through Walmart and Amazon delivery. Benefits are received through an EBT card, which you can use like a debit card.
To find out if you may be eligible for SNAP, use our online screening tool or call a SNAP Outreach Specialist toll-free at 1-844-764-5513.
A program that provides a box of nutritious food each month to low-income seniors 60 years old and over. CSFP food boxes—which may include canned fruits, vegetables and juices, milk, cheese, canned meat, peanut butter or dried beans, cereal, rice or pasta—are distributed at the Second Harvest Heartland Maplewood location and at 240+ other sites throughout Minnesota.
Please note: In Minnesota, CSFP is also referred to as the Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS)—both programs are the same!
If you think you may be eligible for CSFP/NAPS or know someone who may require assistance, please call 651-484-8241 (toll-free at 800-365-0270), or email firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Free and Reduced-Priced Meals are available to income-eligible families to cover the cost of meals served at school. To enroll, talk to the school district (or look on their webpage) where your child is enrolled to get an application!
Families enrolled in Free and Reduced-Priced Meals are now eligible to receive Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)! P-EBT is being offered to help families cover the cost of meals that their child(ren) would normally be receiving at school; there will be no application for P-EBT; rather, families are automatically enrolled to receive P-EBT when they are enrolled in at least one of the following programs: Free and Reduced-Priced Meals, SNAP, and/or MFIP.
If you enroll in any of these programs by February 28th, 2021, you may receive retroactive P-EBT benefits from September 2020. To view the latest updates for P-EBT in Minnesota, visit this webpage.
To inquire about Free and Reduced-Priced Meals, talk with your child(ren)’s school district. Applications are provided by and submitted to the school district. To inquire about SNAP visit this webpage. For more information on MFIP visit this webpage.
Meals on Wheels offers well-rounded meals delivered to your home, along with a visit from a friendly volunteer. The meals are offered at a reduced cost or are subsidized by Medicaid and other programs. Sign up here.
If you’re looking for other assistance and services—like employment, child care, heating assistance, and more—check out United Way 2-1-1, free and confidential health and human services information for people in Minnesota.
Bridge to Benefits is another resource available that links families and individuals to public work support programs and tax credits.
We’re Here for You
Navigating all of these resources and programs can be difficult at an already stressful time in your life. We’re here to help you make sense of it all—please give us a call (1-844-764-5513) with any questions or concerns you may have or fill out this form:
Why are we asking this information? Answering these questions will help us determine what programs you are eligible for. With whom may we share information? We will only share information about you as needed and as allowed or required by law.
Will you share your experience with us?
We’re hoping to hear about the stories and experiences of those who have received food assistance, so that we can share them on our website, on social media, through print materials, and more, and help encourage others to find food help in their community.