Public Resources
Food Assistance for Families
The Texas Safety NetIn Texas, more than 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger and that number is expected to rise this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Texas food assistance programs work together to support families experiencing financial hardship by helping them access nutritious food and meals.

Each nutrition assistance program supports different needs. When multiple programs are used together, they help families ensure everyone gets the nutrition they need to thrive.

For more information, continue reading below for an overview of the nutrition programs available to connect Texans with the food they need to thrive or download the The Texas Safety Net brochure.



Meals for Students

Schools and community organizations work in unison to provide nutritious meals for children in and out of school.

  • National School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs
    • 5 million Texas children have access to school meals each day through these programs. Household income determines eligibility of children to receive a free meal or a reduced priced meal.
    • The program is administered statewide by public, private and charter schools as well as residential childcare institutions.

  • Summer Meal Programs including the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option
    • No cost meals are available to children 18-years old and younger and enrolled students up to 21-years old with disabilities.
    • The Summer Food Service Program is administered statewide by private nonprofits and governmental entities, as well as public, private and charter schools. The Seamless Summer Option is administered statewide by public, private and charter schools.

  • Next Step: During School Year 2020-2021, schools may offer either the National School Lunch Program or one of the Summer Meal Programs. Contact your local school to determine which programs they administer. School districts and charter organizations offering the National School Lunch Program accept applications on an annual basis unless they are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2.



Meals for Young Children


  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
    • Participating child care centers and day care homes serve meals and snacks.
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program At-Risk serves children participating in afterschool care programs that provide enrichment activities.




Direct Food Benefits

  • SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
    • SNAP helps income eligible households buy the food they need to support their health. Adults at least 18 years old can apply for SNAP; additional funding is provided to households with children. SNAP benefits can be used like a debit card to purchase food at any store that accepts SNAP.

  • WIC - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
    • Serves income eligible women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and families with children younger than age five.
    • WIC provides healthy food, nutrition classes, one-on-one counseling with nutritionists, recipes and cooking demonstrations, and breastfeeding support.

  • To Apply: Visit www.YourTexasBenefits.com to learn more about SNAP and WIC and apply for food benefits. To apply for WIC, you can also call 800-942-3678 to see if you qualify and get connected with a WIC office near you.



Food Distribution for Families

  • Food Banks
    • Provide food to help supplement the grocery budgets of income eligible families in Texas.

  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program
    • Food pantries, soup kitchens and housing authorities distribute USDA-donated food.

  • The Commodity Supplemental Food Program
    • 12 Texas food banks distribute packages of USDA Food to eligible participants for home consumption.




Additional Help

2-1-1 is a statewide resource that helps connect Texans to food, health, and housing services. Visit 211texas.org or call 2-1-1 to speak to a live operator about food resources in your area.

To determine income eligibility for food programs, visit: https://squaremeals.org/PublicResources/WhatProgramsAmIEligibleFor.aspx


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Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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