Updated: Aug 6, 2021
Check your college’s COVID-19 webpage, as well as your student portal, to access their up-to-date plans to distribute and connect students with food. For example, if your college has a food pantry you may be able to supplement your food demands or learn about special takeout or food delivery offers for students and families in need.
If you need immediate assistance, you can find food providers in the Philadelphia area by calling 800-5-HUNGRY or 877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) – Monday through Friday (7 a.m. – 10 p.m.), visit whyhunger.org/FindFood, or contact via text using your zip code to 800-548-6479.
Local food resources - free & low-cost
A guide to meal locations divided by breakfast, lunch, and dinner is available here.
Food Cupboard - Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry Offers bags of canned goods, meats, and other perishable items as well as toiletries, hygiene products, infant diapers, adult diapers, and undergarments upon request. Distribution is every Thursday from 10am - noon.
Sharing Excess Connects college students with excess food from restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers.
Free Community Refrigerators Offers information on and addresses of where volunteer-run refrigerators with free food for those in need are located, while also lowering food waste.
Challah for Hunger Offers training, toolkits, and advocacy resources for college students volunteers. Local chapters can be found here.
Feeding America: Find your Local Food Bank
Philly Food Bucks Offers SNAP recipients the opportunity to buy more fresh produce at participating markets and corner stores. For every $5 spent using SNAP benefits at these locations, participants earn a coupon worth $2 to purchase additional fruits and vegetables. For assistance, contact: Gwen Ockenlaender 215-383-5438 email@example.com Meghan Filoromo 215-383-2109 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair Food Farmstand Offers SNAP recipients redeemable coupons for the purchase of fruits and vegetables (i.e., a coupon for $5 is awarded for every $5 spent). Located in the Reading Terminal Market near the corner of 11th and Filbert St. 215-386-5211 ext. 120 email@example.com
Asociacion de Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) Offers affordable food through the Food Buying Club. Members contribute financially to buy produce in bulk from distributors and wholesale markets at discounted prices. 600 Diamond St. 215-235-6070
Philadelphia Community Gardens To find a garden near you where you can grow, share, and purchase fresh produce, contact the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. 215-988-8800 PHSfirstname.lastname@example.org
BenePhilly Offers support and guidance with social service applications and legal assistance at various local organizations. 2761 North 22nd St. (mobile unit) 833-373-5668
Broad Street Ministry Offers to-go lunches, support for SNAP benefits, and additional social service assistance for housing (mail service), legal assistance, and healthcare. 315 S. Broad St. Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 215-735-4847
Catholic Social Services Offers emergency food, housing, as well as parenting and child care assistance (diapers and formula). 267-331-2490 email@example.com Casa del Carmen (4400 North Reese St.) Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 267-331-2500 Northeast Philadelphia (7340 Jackson St.) Monday to Friday, 9 - 11:30 a.m. and 1 - 2 p.m. 215-624-5920 Southwest Philadelphia (6214 Grays St.) Monday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m 215-724-8550
City of Philadelphia Food Distribution Offers a search engine to city residents to locate food distribution sites, as follows: • Food site – one (1) box per household (no ID or proof of income required) • School meal site – select from 102 Philadelphia School District and 29 charter schools • Outdoor meal sites – one (1) meal per person (no ID or proof of income required) Site locations and hours vary.
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger Offers support for SNAP benefits application and a listing of local sites offering free-meals and food pantries. Find food resources near you here. Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 215-430-0555
Mutual Aid Philly Offers cash assistance, grocery shopping, prescription pickup, masks, prepared meals, emotional support, transportation, and other services. 215-798-0222 firstname.lastname@example.org
Philabundance Offers a map to find free food distribution sites throughout Philadelphia. 3616 South Galloway St. 215-339-0900
Philly Food Finder Offers a curated food finder map to find free and discounted food/groceries near you. Also includes the Food Access Guide that provides additional information and resources to support residents facing food insecurity.
Share Food Program Offers healthy food at no cost through dozens of pickup sites across the region, as well as home delivery for seniors and people with disabilities and significant health challenges. Find a food distribution partner in your neighborhood here.
Apply for SNAP / food assistance
The latest COVID-19 stimulus package has increased college student eligibility to receive assistance during the health crisis. You may be eligible for assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides a monthly benefit amount on an electronic card to purchase groceries.
Your college may have sent you information about the new temporary standards for SNAP eligibility. In addition to removing the 20-hour per week work requirement, the guidelines now include:
Eligibility to participate in a federal or state work-study program (even if not currently working)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your FAFSA for the current school year is $0 (found on your Student Aid Report).
Note: Other rules may apply. If you live with family members and are under 22 years old, you must apply for SNAP with your family member. If you have a meal plan covering half or more of your monthly meals, you will not be eligible for SNAP. When applying, be sure to mention that you are a work-study recipient.
If you find you need additional guidance with the application process you can contact local organizations, such as BenePhilly at 833-373-5868, or free legal aid groups. You can also download MyCompass PA app or visit www.compass.state.pa.us.
County Assistance Offices may have limited hours of operation for the public, but staff continue to process applications and paperwork. To find an office near you, click here or call the customer service line at 215-560-7226.
Fresh EBT Offers an easy and secure way to check your SNAP (food stamp) balance, save money with coupons, and explore job posts or other money-related opportunities all on your phone. This app is available in English and Spanish.
Still in need of help? Check out the other sections of the Philadelphia Local Guide.
Please note: Edquity does not endorse nor is Edquity associated with any business, organization, product or service that is mentioned in these Guides. Edquity is not responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the information provided, which may change over time. We encourage you to contact the business or organization listed to receive the most up-to-date information.