Many Head Start families are struggling with food insecurity during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. To meet the needs of school-aged children, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating several efforts which may apply to siblings of Head Start children. Explore available resources below.
Participating rural school districts are enrolling families in the Meals-to-You program. Meals-to-You boxes contain 20 nutritious meals—10 breakfasts and 10 lunches—to cover the meals children would normally receive at school over two weeks. The foods provided meet USDA’s Summer Food Service Program standards and may include items like milk, fruit cups, cereal, whole-grain crackers, and chili. Boxes are delivered directly to children’s doorsteps via the U.S. Postal Service and other delivery services. Meals-to-You is currently active in 12 states and is expanding to 23 additional states and Puerto Rico. Enroll now, as deadlines are closing quickly.
Meals 4 Kids
Help families access free meals for their school-age children. Use this website to find nearby school meal distribution sites, as well as hours of operation and contact information. The service is available in English and Spanish.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides some households an EBT card with the value of the free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the days that schools are closed. Schools must close for at least five consecutive days for families to receive a P-EBT card. Eligible households include those whose children are certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals and who attend schools that offer free school meals. The P-EBT program is currently available in 19 states.
USDA National Hunger Hotline
The National Hunger Hotline offers information for individuals and families on how to obtain food. Hotline staff connect callers with emergency food providers in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services. The service is available in English and Spanish, Monday–Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
- English: 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479)
- Spanish: 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273)