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Food Assistance FAQ

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Food Assistance Frequently Asked Questions

During these unprecedented times, the local emergency food providers who receive food through Second Harvest are under great stress. Some are closing without our knowing, usually to protect the health of their volunteers. The Food Finder may not be as accurate as usual. Please be patient with us as we try to do our best to help you locate food in this new reality.
  1. Where do you distribute food?
  2. Where can I find food outside Central Florida?
  3. How can I get help with food?
  4. What should I expect when I go to a food pantry?
  5. What should I expect when I go to a mobile distribution?
  6. Do food pantries only provide pre-packed boxes of canned goods for their clients?
  7. Will I need to bring an ID?
  8. Are there certain requirements or eligibilities needed to receive food (i.e. SNAP, currently unemployed, free or reduced lunch eligibility)?
  9. Can someone pick up food for me?
  10. Can I visit one food pantry in my area more than once a month?
  11. Can you help me with food stamps?
  12. How can I find additional help?
  13. How can I volunteer?

1. Where do you distribute food?
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Food is not distributed directly to clients from our facilities.

2. Where can I find food outside Central Florida?
Please visit www.feedingflorida.org and find your local Florida food bank. If you are looking for food outside of the State of Florida, visit www.feedingamerica.org and click on Find a Food Bank in your area.

3. How can I get help with food?
Visit the Food Finder on our website www.feedhopenow.org and click the “Food Assistance” Button or visit www.feedhopenow.org/need_food directly.

4. What should I expect when I go to a food pantry?Here are some things to keep in mind when visiting one of our Partner Agency pantries:

  • Each partner operates differently.
  • When visiting for the first time, please call to verify hours of distribution and learn about distribution processes.
  • Food is either distributed first come first served or by appointment. Please call before visiting to find out how food is distributed.
  • Be prepared to wait for food distribution. Each partner strives to be as efficient as possible while adhering to health and safety guidelines. Please have patience.
5. What should I expect when I go to a mobile distribution?
  • Mobile Drops are a mass distribution of food in a community and usually hundreds of people are served. Please confirm the distribution time with the host organization.
  • Please arrive close to distribution time.
  • Food is distributed first come first served. Please don’t arrive early in fear you will not receive food.
  • Based on the amount of available product, the variety of food may change as the drop progresses. All agencies work very hard to ensure that the food is distributed fairly to the community.
  • All current mobile drops distribute USDA commodities food (TEFAP). You should not be asked for any kind of documentation or identification to receive food.

6. Do food pantries only provide pre-packed boxes of canned goods for their clients?
Many pantries provide perishable and non-perishable food including dairy, fresh produce, baked goods, frozen meats and more. Some pantries operate as a Client Choice agency allowing families to select some or all of the food they prefer.

7. Will I need to bring an ID?
Although we encourage our feeding partners to distribute food without clients having to show identification, some will ask for an ID. They are asked to refrain from asking for any other documentation. If you are receiving TEFAP food from an agency or at a mobile drop, you are not required to show any identification or show any proof of residency.

8. Are there certain requirements or eligibilities needed to receive food (i.e. SNAP, currently unemployed, free or reduced lunch eligibility)?
You do not need to qualify for, or receive any other assistance in order to receive food from a food pantry. Anyone who is in need of food is welcome to visit any one of our emergency pantries for assistance.

9. Can someone pick up food for me?
If you need someone to pick up food from a pantry for you, please send the individual with a letter giving them permission to pick up food on your behalf.

10. Can I visit one food pantry in my area more than once a month?
While some pantries restrict to monthly visits due to the volume of clients and available food, you are welcome to visit multiple pantries to ensure your needs are met during your time of need.

11. Can you help me with food stamps?
Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic our Program Specialists are not conducting face to face interviews to assist the public with SNAP (food stamps applications) at the regular sites in Orange and Brevard counties, but you are encouraged to call our hotline for assistance, 407-295-2777. Although you will not be connected with a person on the hotline you should leave a message which would be forwarded to one of our Specialists who are working remotely and will return all calls as soon as possible.

Apply online for Food Stamps here.

12. How can I find additional help?
Dial 211.

13. How can I volunteer?
Visit our volunteer portal here.

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Contact Us 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, Fl 32805Ph: 407-295-1066 | F: 407-295-5299 Visit our other sites: Feed Hope Now Blog Partner Agencies gogreenback with Second Harvest Food Bank
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