Food Assistance

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Let us help you find local programs to help meet your food and nutrition needs. Whether you need food right now or ongoing support each month, we have resources to help.


In Michigan, 1,177,820 people (1 in 9 people) face hunger.

Food prices have steadily increased every year since 2020 and will continue to rise each year. The average household spends $438 on groceries each month.

The average cost of a meal in Michigan is $3.34

Getting Help in Michigan

Michigan has many food assistance programs to help stretch your monthly food budget and increase access to healthy and consistent meals. Applying for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a great way to reduce the amount you spend on groceries each month. Did you know you can even use SNAP benefits at local farmer’s markets to double your savings? Click here to find out more about Double Up Food Bucks.


Emergency Food

Programs that acquire food products through donations, canned food drives, food bank programs or direct purchase and distribute the food to people who are in emergency situations. Some pantries deliver food to people whose disabilities or illnesses make it difficult for them to leave home.

Programs sponsored in many communities by local food banks that distribute directly to clients who are unable to obtain adequate amounts of healthy food, particularly to people who live in low-income communities without reasonable access to a traditional food pantry as well as to college campuses where hunger among students is a growing problem. With the ability to travel, mobile food pantries can address food insecurity where it exists while finding homes for fresh, perishable food items including produce, grains, meat and dairy products before their shelf life expires and they go to waste. Mobile pantry agencies (generally churches or local nonprofits) may borrow an available parking lot (e.g., a school’s lot after hours), and after scheduling a mobile pantry distribution with their sponsoring food bank, they can leaflet the neighborhood or take other steps to announce to potential clients when and where the distribution will take place. When the food arrives at the distribution site, a temporary station is set up to allow participants to walk up or drive through to select desired food or receive a pre-packaged box or bag. Clients may fill out short questionnaires or go through brief interviews to participate. When the event is over, the volunteers load any leftovers back in the vehicle, leaving the parking lot as clean as it was when they arrived.

Programs that supply infant formula and/or baby food, usually in addition to other groceries.

Programs offered by churches, restaurants and other organizations that provide meals in a central location for people who lack the resources needed to buy and prepare food. The food may be distributed to people who line up for the meal or may be served to people seated in a dining hall setting, and participants rarely need to establish eligibility for the service.


Food Assistance Programs

A federally-funded program administered locally by the county or the state that enables low-income and indigent households to obtain an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card similar to a bank debit card which can be used in most grocery stores to purchase food. Approved households are entitled to purchase a designated amount of food utilizing their cards based on net income and household size. Benefits are generally available in an EBT account within 30 days from the date an application was filed. Expedited food stamps are available within seven days for people who are in an emergency situation and whose income and spendable resources for that month are within specified limits.

A public health nutrition program administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service that provides nutrition education, nutritious foods, breastfeeding support and health care referrals for income-eligible pregnant or postpartum individuals, infants and children up to age five. Foster parents, grandparents, guardians and single fathers who have custody of their children may also be eligible to receive food assistance for children up to age five if they meet income guidelines. WIC provides specific foods to supplement the dietary needs of participants to ensure good health and development. Food packages typically include iron-fortified infant cereal, milk, cheese, eggs, whole grains, peanut butter, beans, fruits, vegetables and juice. Families can shop for WIC foods at most grocery stores using a WIC electronic transfer benefit (EBT) card or vouchers.

A federally funded program that works to improve the health of elderly people age 60 and older who meet income eligibility requirements by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA commodity foods. The program provides food and administrative funds to states, typically departments of health, social services, education or agriculture. The state agencies store CSFP food and distribute it to local public and private, nonprofit organizations that determine the eligibility of applicants, distribute the food, and provide nutrition education.

Programs that supply food coupons which can be exchanged in designated grocery stores, supermarkets and/or farmers markets for food products. The vouchers are generally provided to low income individuals and families on an occasional or ongoing basis, but may also be available to other specified populations; and may be issued in paper or electronic formats.

Food markets that accept online and/or telephone orders and deliver food and household supplies to the homes of people who are unable to go out and shop on their own behalf or who prefer to have their groceries delivered. Also included are food pantries that deliver the food to people with illnesses, disabilities, transportation issues or other extenuating circumstances which prevent them from picking it up; and programs that place online orders for older adults, people with disabilities and individuals who are struggle with using a computer or have no Internet access.


Meal Programs

Programs offered by churches, restaurants and other organizations that provide meals in a central location for people who lack the resources needed to buy and prepare food. The food may be distributed to people who line up for the meal or may be served to people seated in a dining hall setting, and participants rarely need to establish eligibility for the service.

Programs that prepare and regularly deliver meals to older adults, people with disabilities and others who have difficulties shopping and/or preparing food for themselves or traveling to a site where a meal is being served.

Programs that organizes suppers, lunches or other get-togethers that give community residents an opportunity to meet one another in a friendly and informal atmosphere while sharing a meal. Community meals are generally sponsored by churches, libraries and other local community organizations and coordinated by volunteers.

Programs that provide hot meals on a regular basis primarily for older adults who may be at risk for nutritional deficits and social isolation without assistance. Congregate meals are often combined with recreational, educational and social activities, and programs may include access to health services and/or information. Some programs are also open to caregivers, spouses and/or adults with disabilities.

Programs offered by senior centers or other community organizations, generally outside the food pantry network, that pack shopping bags (or other containers) with a supply of nutritional donated and surplus food for distribution to low-income individuals or families, students or older adults to supplement their meals at home.

Programs that provide fresh or frozen lunches or dinners which are packed in portable containers and typically picked up and eaten elsewhere. Clients may include people who are homeless or low income, have a disability or illness or meet other eligibility criteria.