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Food Assistance

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February, 2019

SNAP/Food Stamps

You can use SNAP/Food Stamps to buy food at supermarkets, grocery stores, and some restaurants and senior meal programs. You can apply for SNAP/Food Stamps online or at your local DTA office.  The amount of SNAP/Food Stamps you get depends on how many people are in your house, how much money you have coming in, your housing or shelter costs, and child care costs. If you are a senior or you have a disability, your medical expenses will also be taken into account.

Learn about Basic SNAP/Food Stamp Rights in the Income and Benefits section of MassLegalHelp.

Learn about Applying for SNAP/Food Stamps in the Income and Benefits section of MassLegalHelp. 

Apply for SNAP/Food Stamps online

Find your local DTA office

For help call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

The Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC)

WIC gives vouchers for nutritional foods to low-income pregnant women and children under five. You can use WIC checks for food like milk, cheese, eggs, tuna, iron-fortified cereal, peanut butter, infant formula, carrots, beans, and vitamin C-rich juices. You can also get nutrition counseling, health screenings, and referrals to other benefit programs.

Go online to find out where you can apply or call Massachusetts WIC toll-free at 1-800-942-1007.

Learn more about WIC.

Surplus Food Giveaways

The U.S. Government buys extra food like peanut butter, canned goods, and cheese from farmers and then gives it away to local food pantries and Community Action Programs.

To find these foods check the Community Service Guide in the first few pages of your phone book, or call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (phone) or 1-800-377-1292 (TTY) .

Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens

Most towns and cities and some churches and community centers have a food pantry that gives away free food at certain time of the month. There also may be a soup kitchen or other places where you can go with your family to get a hot meal.

To find where you can get food check the Community Service Guide in the first few pages of the phone book, or look at the Project Bread resource guide for your city or town.

The SHARE Program

You can get packages of food including meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, and cereals from Share for $15. Share asks you to give two hours of your time for community service or to help put together food packs.

Ask your local Community Action Program for help finding a SHARE program.

Who to call for help

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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