There are many large and small programs where you or your family can get free, quality food in Multnomah County. Here are some of the top resources.
You can also dial 2-1-1 for free, text your zip code to 898-211 or visit 211info.org for food resources and more.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is a federal program that provides monthly benefits on a debit card to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and at some farmers markets.
Some farmers markets will match your SNAP benefits with extra dollars.
Additional benefits include discounts on phone bill or free mobile phone, low-cost internet, great deals on entertainment tickets, and lower school athletic fees.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program provides monthly benefits on a debit card for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and/or with children up to 5 yrs of age. Participants can purchase specific foods at grocery stores, convenience stores and some farmers markets.
Fresh Food & Staples
Food pantries offer a variety of fresh and non-perishable food items that families can take home. Pantries are hosted in schools, congregations, community centers and many other community locations.
Meals 4 Kids
Meals 4 Kids delivers culturally-appropriate, nutritious dinners to families within Portland city limits. Children ages 0-18 and their caregivers receive prepared meals right at their front door.
Meals on Wheels
Delivers nutritious lunches to homebound older adults or people with disabilities
Free and low-cost prepared meals are available in communal settings. Some sites are intended for older adults, while most are open to all.
Nearly all public schools in Oregon offer nutritionally balanced school lunch and school breakfast meals, often free of charge to families. Families who receive SNAP benefits in any amount are enrolled to receive free school meals for the entire school year, even if their SNAP participation changes during the school year.
The Summer Food Service Program offers meals and snacks free for all kids ages 1-18 at many locations. Summer meal sites are open to all families without paperwork or signing up. Kids can just drop in! Many offer activities so kids can hang out with friends, stay active, and learn during summer.
After School Meals
Many schools, affordable housing communities, and youth organizations offer meals and snacks for kids after school. After school programs also have activities or homework help.
Top Tips for Success
- Keep at it. You might be eligible for all of these programs! Being in one program might help you get into another.
- Call or text 211 - ask about ALL the programs listed here.
- Keep asking: “are there any other programs?”
- Double check! Hours and locations change.
- Ask at school, the doctor, the library! They might know about special programs.
- You might need some of these documents:
- Pay stubs or monthly income,
- Social Security numbers,
- Child and adult IDs,
- Proof of address. Keep in mind some programs require these documents, others do not. Please keep your personal information secure and safe!