During the COVID-19 outbreak, it can be a financial strain for individuals and families to stock up on food. There are many resources in the DC area that are providing bagged groceries and free meals. Students can also access free meals at a number of schools throughout DC. See the list below to find nearby locations where you can receive food assistance.
Where to Access Food Resources in DC
- The District of Columbia is launching a Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program which provides food benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to District families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. This program will provide a daily food benefit equal to $5.70 per child per school day through June 19. The benefits can be used to purchase food at stores that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formally food stamps), EBT benefits and can also be used to purchase food for delivery online at Amazon. Click here for more information.
- Mayor Bowser launched a 10 weekday grocery distribution sites at DC schools to help families access free meals and other resources during the COVID-19 health emergency. For a complete schedule and list of distribution sites, click here.
- This map details where you can find free meals and groceries in DC.
- DC residents can use this COVID-19 Needs Hotline and Web Portal to request food and other essential items be delivered to their homes if they have been directed to self-quarantine or if they have no other means to acquire the resources.
- Check out DC Hunger Solution's webpage addressing SNAP FAQ's and other questions you may have about signing up for government benefits.
- &Pizza: free pizza to hospital workers (valid ID required). Text 200-02 #Hero to obtain unique code.
- Arcadia Foods: mobile market, pre-orders, and free meals at each pick-up site for youth affected by school closing.
- Aunt Bertha: helps connect people to shelters, food services, etc. based on zip code.
- Bread for the City: operating reduced hours at NW center, but offering groceries to local patients with urgent care needs. SE Center is closed through March 31st.
- Capital Area Food Bank: access to emergency food boxes. New sites providing grab-and-go meals at DC kids cafe sites:
- Brookland Manor- 2525 14th St NE, (Ward 5) Lunch Service Monday-Friday 1pm-2pm
- City Gate- 4275 4th St SE, (Ward 7) Lunch & Snack Service Monday-Friday 1pm-3pm
- Jubilee Early Start - 1650 Fuller St NW, (Ward 1) Lunch & Snack Service Monday-Friday 4:30pm-6:30pm
- Little Lights 1212 - 1212 I St NW, Lunch Service Monday-Friday 1pm-2:30pm
- Little Lights Hopkins - 1000 12th St SE, Lunch Service Monday- Friday 1pm-2:30pm
- Tutoring Cafe - 6906 4th St NW, Lunch & Snack Service Monday-Friday 2pm-3pm
- DC Central Kitchen: mobile feeding locations serving to-go breakfast and lunch for children
- Benning Courts Community Center- 1713 Benning Rd, NE (Ward 6) Mon-Fri 1-2pm
- Brightwood Communities Community Center- 5805 14th St NW (Ward 4) Tues, Wed & Thurs 10-11am
- Carver Hall Community Center- 2338 Pitts Place SE (Ward 8) Mon-Fri 10-11am
- Children’s Health Center @ THEARC- 1801 Mississippi Ave SE (Ward 8) Mon-Sun 12pm-3pm (also providing produce bags)
- Congress Park Community Center- 1345 Savannah St SE (Ward 8) Mon-Fri 1-2pm
- Frederick Douglass Community Center- 1427 Cedar St SE (Ward 8) Mon-Fri 11:15am-12:15pm
- Greater Love Church- 4421 Jay Street NE (Ward 7) Mon-Sun 11am-1pm
- King Towers Community Center- 1220 12th St NW (Ward 2) Mon-Fri 11:15am-12:15pm
- Park Naylor Community Center- 2574 Naylor Rd SE (Ward 8) Mon-Fri 2:15pm-3:15pm
- The Pentacle Community Center- 1509 Benning Rd NE (Ward 6) Mon-Fri 2:15pm-3:15pm
- DC Department of Aging and Community Living: meals will be available for pick-up at all DACL-funded Senior Wellness Centers and Community Dining Sites from 10 am-2 pm for current participants.
- Food For All DC: serving those who are homebound, including elderly citizens, handicapped, or single mothers with young children. Deliveries every Saturday, 9am - 2pm. Call 240-505-4607.
- FRESHFARM: markets are remaining open in select locations.
- Good Stuff Eatery (Capitol Hill, Crystal City, and Georgetown): kids eat free while schools are closed.
- Hook Hall: Family meals, care kits, homework HQ, and more.
- Jose Andres - Think Food Group Restaurants: Operating community kitchens in select locations, beginning March 17th daily from 12-5pm for take out service only at their side doors. View link for all restaurants in the DC Metro Area.
- Leon Restaurants: offering free meals to all children. Open for take-away at 1724 L St NW from 7am - 4pm & 1350 Eye St NW from 11am - 6pm
- Little Miner Taco (Rhode Island Ave): kids eat free from the kids menu during school closures.
- Little Sesame: food distribution at Kelly Miller Middle School 301 49th St NE, Monday-Friday from 4-6pm.
- Martha’s Table: bags of groceries (including fruit, vegetables, and pantry items) will be available at designated food access sites. Pre-bagged groceries are still available at their SE and NW locations: The Commons (2375 Elvans Rd. SE) and The Maycroft (1401 Columbia Rd. NW). They will also continue to provide pre-packaged meals through MCKenna’s Wagon to those who are experiencing hunger/homelessness.
- Grab and Go groceries at the following locations:
- Wednesdays 12:30-2pm (grab and go groceries) THEARC West Campus (Ward 8) and HD Woodson HS (Ward 7)
- Thursdays 12:30-2pm (grab and go groceries) Kimball Elementary (Ward 7) and Anacostia High School (Ward 8)
- Fridays 12:30-2pm (grab and go groceries) Ballou High School (Ward 8) and EW Stokes Community Freedom PCS- East End Campus (Ward 7)
- Grab and Go groceries at the following locations:
- N Street Village: providing bagged breakfast from 7-8:30 am daily, bagged lunch from 12-12:30 daily.
- Po Boy Jim: serving free meals to kids while schools are closed.
- Purple Patch DC: offering a free grab and go kids bagged lunch from 8-10 am. Opening a Purple Patch Pantry from 3-9 pm. Full menu is also available for takeout. For more information, see their instagram page @purplepatchdc
- Rasa: free take-out meals for children under 18 and hospital workers with a valid ID.
- Santa Rosa Taqueria (Capital Hill): kids eat free while schools are closed.
- We The Pizza (Capital Hill, Crystal City, and Ballston): kids eat free while schools are closed.
DC Public Schools
From 10 am-2pm, March 16 - March 31, several schools will be open Monday-Friday to provide “grab and go” meals to ANY DC youth (regardless of if they are enrolled in a DC Public School):
- Banneker High School, 800 Euclid St NW, Ward 1
- Cardozo Education Campus, 1200 Clifton St NW, Ward 1
- Columbia Heights ED Campus, 3101 16th Street NW, Ward 1
- Marie Reed Elementary School, 2201 18th St NW, Ward 1
- Francis- Stevens Elementary School, 2425 N St NW, Ward 2
- Thomson Elementary School, 1200 L St NW, Ward 2
- Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake St NW, Ward 3
- Coolidge High School, 6315 5th St NW, Ward 4
- Roosevelt High School, 4301 13th St NW, Ward 4
- Truesdell ED Campus, 800 Ingraham St NW, Ward 4
- Brookland Middle School, 1150 Michigan Ave NE, Ward 5
- Langdon Elementary School, 1900 Evarts St NE, Ward 5
- LaSalle Backus ED Campus, 501 Riggs Rd NE, Ward 5
- McKinley Ed Campus, 151 T St NE, Ward 5
- Wheatley Ed Campus, 1299 Neal St NE, Ward 5
- Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol St NW, Ward 6
- Jefferson Middle School, 801 7th ST SW, Ward 6
- Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St NE, Ward 6
- Walker Jones ED Campus, 1125 New Jersey Ave. NW, Ward 6
- Kelly Miller Middle School, 301 49th St NE, Ward 7
- Kimball Elementary School, 3375 Minnesota Ave. SE, Ward 7
- Neval Thomas Elementary School, 650 Anacostia Ave NW, Ward 7
- Ron Brown High School, 4800 Meade St NE, Ward 7
- Woodson High School, 540 55th St NE, Ward 7
- Anacostia High School, 1601 16th St SE, Ward 8
- Ballou High School, 3401 4th St SE, Ward 8
- Hendley Elementary School, 425 Chesapeake St SE, Ward 8
- Simon Elementary School, 401 Mississippi Ave SE, Ward 8
- Stanton Elementary School, 2701 Naylor Rd, Ward 8
Public Charter School Meal Sites
DC Public Charter Schools will provide free meals during the hours and days listed below:
- Paul PCS, 5800 8th Street NW — 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. M-F
- Capital City PCS, 100 Peabody Street, NW — 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. M-F5
- Friendship Armstrong PCS, 1400 First Street, NW — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Friendship Woodridge International PCS, 2959 Carlton Avenue, NE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS, 1404 Jackson Street NE — 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. M-F
- KIPP College Prep, 1405 Brentwood Parkway, NE - See https://www.kippdc.org/meals/
- Howard University Middle School of Math and Science PCS, Outside of Shaw Metro Station — 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. M-F
- Friendship Chamberlain PCS, 1345 Potomac Avenue, SE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Kingsman Academy PCS, 1375 E Street, SE — Beginning March 23, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. M-F
- Friendship Blow-Pierce PCS, 725 19th Street, NE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Friendship Collegiate PCS, 4095 Minnesota Avenue, NE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- KIPP Smilow Facility (Arts & Tech, Quest, Valor), 5300 Blaine Street, NE — See https://www.kippdc.org/meals/
- Rocketship Legacy Prep PCS, 4250 Massachusetts Avenue, SE — 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
- IDEA PCS, 1027 45th Street NE — 8 a.m.-9 a.m. for Breakfast and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch
- Friendship Southeast PCS, 645 Milwaukee Place, SE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Friendship Technology Prep PCS, 2705 Martin Luther King Avenue, SE — 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. M-F
- Ingenuity Prep PCS, 4600 Livingston Road, SE — 8 a.m.-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. M-F
- KIPP Somerset PCS, 3301 Wheeler Road, SE — See https://www.kippdc.org/meals/
- KIPP Douglass Facility (Discover, Heights, AIM), 2600 Douglass Road, SE — See https://www.kippdc.org/meals/
- National Collegiate Prep, 4600 Livingston Road SE — 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. March 16 & March 24 - 31
- Rocketship Rise PCS, 2335 Raynolds Place, SE — 11am - 1pm
- Early Childhood Academy PCS, 885 Barnaby Street, SE — Noon to 1pm M-F
- Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS, 2427 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE — 10am - 1pm Bkfast & Lunch
- Howard University Middle School of Math and Science PCS, Outside of Anacostia Metro Station — Noon to 1pm M-F
- Eagle Academy PCS, 3400 Wheeler Road, SE — 11am - 1pm M-F
- Click here for information regarding unemployment relief from Mayor Bowser's office
- Check out this helpful article on assistance for freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers and other self-employed individuals.
- You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when you are eligible to apply Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the CARES Act.
- Click here for fact sheets and guides to unemployment insurance
- Click here for a list of local resources in the DC area, including financial support, employment services, and education resources.
- Click here for information from Children's National about what to do if your child has been exposed to COVID-19.
- Click here for a list of events and attractions that have been closed or postponed due to COVID-19
How to Help
If you are looking for ways to help your friends and neighbors during the COVID-19 outbreak, please use this list of organizations that are calling for donations and volunteers:
- Aunt Bertha: Aunt Bertha’s network connects people seeking help and verified social care providers that serve them by zip code. Contact your local shelter to see what help and/or items may be needed.
- Black Lives Matter DC: Supply drive for families. In need of donations (toiletries, personal and baby products, bags and financial)
- Black Swan Academy: providing toiletries and other items to young people and their families in Ward 7 &8. Donations are needed.
- Calvary Women’s Services: Donations. They will not close their doors and will maintain a safe and caring home for all the women in their housing programs.
- Capital Area Food Bank: They are experiencing a shortage of volunteers, and are in critical need of help sorting and packing food in their warehouse and assisting at their offsite food distributions. To learn more and sign up, visit volunteer.capitalareafoodbank.org.
- DC Central Kitchen: Donations. Financial contributions ensure that they can continue to serve the community.
- Food Rescue US D.C.: This organization delivers healthy food from businesses, to people who have too little. Volunteers needed
- Food & Friends: They are in urgent need of extra volunteers throughout the coming weeks. There are two volunteer opportunities, food preparation and packaging and meal and grocery delivery. More information found here.
- Grace’s Table: Looking for volunteers to help feed the homeless each Saturday.
- Martha’s Table: May be in need of volunteers
- So Others Might Eat (SOME): SOME is in need of items to support their clients who may be ill.
- Ward 1 Errand Volunteers: Ward 1 has a sign-up sheet for volunteers who want to run errands for those who are housebound
The information on this page was taken from the DC Food Project’s webpage. More information regarding Maryland and Virginia meal sites can be found there, along with additional resources related to COVID-19 closings.