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Food Assistance

Capital Area Food Bank

During the shutdown, the Capital Area Food Bank is holding free pop-up markets for government employees. Learn more about the grocery distribution sites HERE.

Five Day Supply of Groceries Offered by the Nonprofit Bread for the City

Beginning Monday, January 14, if you are a District of Columbia resident and are a furloughed federal worker or federal contractor currently out of work because of the furlough, you can visit Bread for the City’s NW or SE Centers for a five-day supply of groceries.

Bread for the City is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services to reduce the burden of poverty.

For more information, visit breadforthecity.org/blog/opening-our-doors-to-furloughed-federal-employees-and-contractors.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the federal name for the traditional food assistance program, also known as the Food Stamp program. Families in need utilize an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that can be used like a debit card, to buy groceries at specified stores that accept EBT. Individuals (even if you are working), families, seniors, persons experiencing homelessness, persons with a disability, many legal immigrants, and citizen children of undocumented immigrants can all receive SNAP/Food Stamps if the eligibility requirements are met. Household size and income determine eligibility. More information about how to apply is available here: https://dhs.dc.gov/service/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-snap.


The DC Office on Aging operates 46 community dining sites in all eight wards of the city, serving daily lunch Monday through Friday, for residents 60 years of age and older. Contact the lead agency in your ward for more information by visiting dcoa.dc.gov/service/senior-service-network-lead-agencies.

Free Food Safety Certified Lunches at Recreation Centers

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is working with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to offer free lunch to kids 18 years old or younger at every recreation center that is equipped and staffed appropriately for providing free Food Safety Certified lunches. These recreation centers will offer free lunch every Saturday during the shutdown from 12 pm – 1 pm. No ID or application required. Come to any site listed. #Meals4DCKids

Recreation Center  
Rita Bright Ward 1
Emery Ward 4
Harry Thomas Ward 5
Joseph Cole Ward 5
Kennedy Ward 6
King Greenleaf Ward 6
Rosedale Ward 6
Benning Park Ward 7
Benning Stoddert Ward 7
Fort Davis Ward 7
Hillcrest Ward 7
Bald Eagle Ward 8
Barry Farm Ward 8

School Meals

Families who may be impacted by the government shutdown may apply for Free and Reduced Price Meals. For more info visit dcps.dc.gov/farm.

USDA announced that funding to support Child Nutrition Programs will be available into March, should the shutdown of the federal government continue. This means that claims for reimbursement for the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program are guaranteed to be paid into March. Local Education Agencies are encouraged to reach out to families who may be impacted by the government shutdown to offer them a Free and Reduced Price Meal application.