1 in 7 Kentuckians are food insecure and even more Kentucky kids lack access to adequate food for a healthy, active lifestyle. During this time of uncertainty, we are working to ensure these vulnerable neighbors are supported. The good news:
- Food banks are skilled at disaster and emergency response. Our members are coordinating with local agencies and disaster response teams to activate the strategies that will help us mitigate hunger in the weeks to come.
- Our state agencies, school districts, and community organizations are working around the clock to make sure every Kentuckian has access to food. Schools and nonprofits already know how to feed children when school isn’t in session and hundreds of meal sites across Kentucky are available for students. Drive-through and mobile pantry options are available as well as meal delivery services.
Feeding Kentucky will continue to support our food banks and partner with resource development and advocate for policies that support everyone impacted by COVID-19. Below are resources for families and community partners.
Click here to download a resource guide.
Find Free Meals for Kids
Schools and community organizations are working hard to ensure kids still have access to healthy breakfasts and lunches when school is out of session during the coronavirus outbreak. USDA waivers have made it easier for organizations to get meals to kids, sometimes several days of meals, without asking students to congregate or eat on site. Families are now able to get meals for the kids without requiring children to be present at sites, reducing the amount of contact that children have with others. These waivers also have relaxed what types of foods are required in meals as some meal components are harder to procure or provide adequate shelf stable options.
The best ways to find a free meal for students 18 and younger:
- Text FOOD to 877-877 to find your nearest meal site location.
- Find meals in your county on the Kentucky Department of Education website.
Pandemic EBT Benefits for Kids
See below for information about assistance to households with children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals while schools are closed due to COVID-19.
Find a Food Pantry in Your Community
There are over 800 food pantries in Kentucky that are available to those who need support. Use the map below to find the nearest food pantry to your location.
Other Food Resources
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Any household meeting basic income and other requirements may be able to receive SNAP benefits. To apply for SNAP benefits, call 855-306-8959 or complete your application online at https://benefind.ky.gov. Click here for more information.
- Pandemic-EBT is a new program that provides nutrition benefits to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures. Eligible students and families will receive an average benefit of $313.50 per Kentucky child on a new or existing EBT card to help fill the school meals gap. Click here for FAQs from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
- SNAP Households: If you receive SNAP, the $313.50 per child benefit will be automatically added to your EBT card by May 25, 2020.
- Non-SNAP Households: If a family doesn’t receive SNAP benefits but students received free and reduced-price meals during the school year, they need to apply for benefits between June 1 and June 30, 2020 by completing the application at benefind.ky.gov.
- Call the Cabinet for Health and Family Service’s Aging and Disability Resource Center hotline at 877-925-0037 to learn about available food resources for seniors.
- Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-348-6479, Monday-Friday, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm EST for help locating local feeding sites, food banks, or food pantries.
- Download the University of Kentucky’s FitBlue app to find your nearest food pantry.
- Find meal sites in Louisville.
- Find meal sites in Lexington and Central Kentucky.
Much of our generous volunteer network is made up of older adults who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. We ask them to stay home to protect themselves.
We are calling those who are healthy to step up in this time of critical need so we can continue to feed vulnerable community members. We especially encourage high school and college students to respond.
Contact us to get connected to a food bank or food pantry needing help.
Grants Available to Support Coronavirus Response – No Kid Hungry is offering emergency grants to support local school districts and nonprofit organizations in their efforts to ensure kids get the nutritious food they need. Please complete a brief information form, and they will be in touch with instructions if your organization is eligible for funding.
Comcast Internet Essentials – Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for more details.
Guidance on providing meals while schools are closed due to the coronavirus – For more information on the options available for serving meals through the child nutrition programs during school closures related to the coronavirus, please consult this FAQ from No Kid Hungry.
Funding Available for Louisville Residents. Under a new emergency coronavirus fund, eligible households and community organizations could get $1,000 to help cover unexpected rental, childcare, transportation, food, utility and pharmaceutical expenses.
Support Feeding Kentucky
The Feeding Kentucky network of food banks and food pantries serve 1 in 7 Kentuckians each year. The need for food in Kentucky was already high and the economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to continue to increase food insecurity in our communities. If you are able, please consider a donation today to help us respond.