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In some cases, emergency food hotlines are the only thing readily available to help a family’s well-being. There are a few different hotlines that can help familiesin need of emergency food help when food stamps may be too slow to respond. There are actually a number of ways to find help within your community, such as through food banks, United Way, churches, and other local hunger help groups. Even better, you may find reasons to volunteer as well as gain assistance from these organizations. One of the most popular organizations for families in need is United Way. While not directly attached to a hunger campaign, it is one of their main issues, and the organization provides financial assistance in addition to a variety of other services for individuals and families. Here are a few ways to reach hotlines and find help today.

Project Bread FoodSource Hotline: 1-800-645-8333

Project Bread is a national organization that you can read more about at gettingsnap.org. Their organization helps families and connects people in need with different food resources local to where they live. The hotline has a bilingual staff as well as able interpreters, allowing them to answer questions in 160 languages. The hours for the hotline are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are a few services that they provide if you need help with SNAP/food stamps, but the representatives can also direct you to food pantries and meal programs in your area. In addition, they have information on getting free and reduced-price school and summer meals for children.

United Way’s Hotline: Dial 211

United Way makes it very simple to find help and get financial assistance. While United Way doesn’t directly provide financial assistance, they are connected to a variety of resources that can assist individuals and families in need. The organization also focuses on rehabilitating families and individuals through education, income and health. United Way is actually a global organization that is involved in 40 countries and has 1,300 local organizations. You can read more about United Way and what they do to help by going to UnitedWay.org. Local United Way centers assist residents in finding work, helping children to stay in school and provide health programs for children and adults. Their financial assistance and affiliation with food banks may help individuals who need emergency food help. Dialing 211 will work to read United Way in most areas. However if you do have trouble getting to a United Way in your area, go to 211.org and type in your zip code to find the right number for your local organization.

Local Food Bank Hotlines

Local food banks provide all kinds of assistance to both families and individuals in need. Unfortunately there isn’t just one number to call, though dialing Project Bread and United Way may connect you to local food banks that are partners with these hunger groups. You can also go online, search for your city and “food bank” to find the number for a food bank that is closest to you. Some food banks for major cities include New York City (212-566-7855), Los Angeles (323-234-3030), Miami (954-518-1818) or Chicago (773-247-3663). Going online to look for food banks is probably the best way to find an organization. Shelters are also very closely affiliated with food banks and hunger organizations.

State SNAP Hotlines: 1-800-221-5689

If you are in dire need of food assistance, many states have a hotline for food stamp programs that are also able to connect you to resources the very same day—though they may not be food stamps specifically. You can also find answers to your questions and apply for food stamps through these state hotlines. There is also a national SNAP hotline, which will direct you to an information service and connect you to a local SNAP office. You can also find the unique hotline for each state. There is a list of each state’s hotline on USDA.gov, just click SNAP and then “Contact Information.”

National Hunger Hotline: 1-866-3HUNGRY

The National Hunger Clearinghouse helps struggling families and individuals by providing emergency and long-term help. The organization has a network of food pantries, government programs and model grassroots organizations that provide assistance to families who contact the hotline. You can find local food programs and receive answers to your questions about food stamps through the National Hunger Hotline. You can call nay time between the hours of 9 a.m. 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. There are also bilingual services.

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