On this page, you'll find:
- Get Help Hotline
- Food Resources for Students
- Pandemic EBT
- Food Resources for Seniors
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program
- Food Resources for Pregnant Women and Mothers with Young Children
- Food Assistance Programs
- SNAP Online
- Healthy Corners
- Resources from Neighboring Counties
- Guidance for Essential Food Businesses
- Grocery Store Information
- Feed the Fridge
Friday June 18, 2021, is the last day to place food and essentials delivery orders with the Get Help Hotline. Seniors residing in the District who need help with food resources after Friday should call 202-724-5626 for assistance.
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program provides food assistance benefits on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to eligible District families. These benefits are for children who would normally receive free or reduced-price school meals if not for the virtual and hybrid learning because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Children who were under the age of six on October 1, 2020, are automatically eligible if their household participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
In March 2021, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service approved the District’s plan to issue P-EBT benefits to eligible students for the remainder of school year 2020-2021 (August and September 2020 benefits were issued earlier in the year). Beginning May 2021, the Department of Human Services (DHS) began issuing P-EBT payments to eligible families, beginning with issuances for October 2020 through December 2020. Additional payments in three-month increments will continue into the summer to cover benefits for the full school year.
Households participating in SNAP and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will receive benefits on their existing EBT card. Eligible families without an EBT card will receive benefits on a new card that will be mailed to them.
P-EBT benefits can be used to purchase food at stores that accept SNAP benefits and can also be used to purchase food online for home delivery from Amazon and Aldi. Visit the DHS P-EBT information page for additional information about eligibility, issuances and benefit amounts. For case-specific questions, please contact the P-EBT Call Center at 877-4DC-PEBT (877-432-7328) or TTY: 711, Monday–Friday, 7:30 am – 4:45 pm EST.
The Department of Aging and Community Living’s hotline is operational, and seniors who need information or assistance should call (202) 724-5626. The call center will conduct a quick assessment and connect you to the appropriate service.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/ Grocery Plus
- The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), locally known as Grocery Plus, serves the District of Columbia’s senior population who are 60 years and older with a limited income.
- CSFP has increased its distribution to home bound seniors. The current CSFP certification period has been extended by 90 days.
- Current CSFP participants who have not received their monthly food box should call the Capital Area Food Bank at (202) 644-9880.
- For more information on CSFP/Grocery Plus program updates, please visit capitalareafoodbank.org/covid19response.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
The District’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age five buy healthy food and receive nutrition and breastfeeding counseling.
If you think you may be eligible for WIC:
- Please contact your local WIC site to schedule an appointment. You can find site locations and contact information at dcwic.org/wic-locations.
- Visit: dcwic.org/how-to-apply-for-wic
- Call: (202) 442-9397
Important changes to DC WIC operations during COVID-19:
- WIC sites are providing all services over the phone.
- All benefits will be mailed to participants.
- For additional information on DC WIC, visit dcwic.org/covid-19
Finding WIC-issued formula at the store:
- If you are having trouble finding your WIC-issued formula at the store, please speak to the store manager to see when shipments are scheduled. Some stores are able to put items (such as formula) on hold for customers.
- Participants with checks for special formulas may order these formulas at any authorized pharmacy location. These pharmacies have 48 hours to obtain your special formula.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)
The District’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps residents buy the food they need. Eligibility and minimum benefits for the program have been expanded. If you think you may be eligible for SNAP benefits, you can complete and submit an application through the DC Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS has a combined application for public benefits, so you can apply for SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, financial assistance), and Medical Assistance (Medicaid, Alliance and other medical assistance programs available through DHS) with the same application. Learn more about the Combined Application for Public Benefits here.
If you are a current SNAP recipient, please be aware recertifications of benefits are scheduled to begin in March 2021. If your contact information has changed since you first applied/your last recertification, it is important to update your information to ensure that you are notified when it is time to recertify. You can update your information at dcbenefits.dhs.gov; through the District First mobile app (formerly DC Access) on both Android or iPhone; or by calling DHS at (202) 727-5355; for the hearing impaired you may call TTY/TDD 711.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online
In May 2020, the District of Columbia (District) launched the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program.[B(1] Benefits can be redeemed through Amazon, Aldi (via Instacart), and Safeway (located at 6500 Piney Branch Road, NW for online order pickup). You can find all the details on each of these programs on the Department for Human Services’ website: dhs.dc.gov/snapinfo. For FAQs and a quick reference guide on how the program works please use the links below.
- Updates and Frequently Asked Questions about District of Columbia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program
- How it works: The SNAP Online Purchasing Program
To ensure that nutritious food is available in all DC neighborhoods, DC Central Kitchen's Healthy Corners program is continuing operations and discounting fresh, whole fruits and vegetables up to 50%. You can find a full list of participating stores here.
DC Health has created guidance for essential food businesses to keep staff and customers safe during the public health emergency:
When you go to the grocery store or other food outlet, please continue to follow Mayor Bowser's directives for retail food outlets:
- Do not enter a grocery store if you have a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) or symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose). More stores are offering delivery and curbside pickup and there are several other resources on this page.
- Wear a mask or mouth & nose covering when entering and while inside the store.
- Cough or sneeze away from other people and into your elbow.
- Keep 6 feet away from other customers, both inside and outside of the store.
- Only pick up and touch what you plan to buy.
Special Hours for Vulnerable Populations
These retailers have provided special hours for vulnerable shoppers. Please call your local store on questions about hours of operation or visit their website for more information by clicking on the links provided below.
- Dollar General
- Family Dollar
- Harris Teeter
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods