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How to Find Food, Shelter and other Resources in Your Community

Last updated October 2, 2023


Financial hardship can be a stressful and challenging experience, but there are free resources available to support you and your family. These resources can range from food banks, shelters, and financial assistance programs, to job training and educational resources. If you and your loved ones are experiencing financial hardship, here is how you can seek free resources to find food, shelter, and more in your community.

If you are experiencing crisis or need to talk to someone, call The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (988).


A group of students gathered together at a table - Find Food, Shelter & Other Resources In Your Community

Start Local

If you are a student struggling with food or housing insecurity, we recommend talking to a trusted adult such as a counselor, academic advisor, or other educator in your life. Educators are aware of resources that exist for students on-campus and in the local community. If you are in college, many college campuses have food pantries where students can stock up with food and toiletries for free.

If you are unable to connect with an educator in your life, you can use the internet to find housing and food programs near you. Google search “food pantries near me” or “housing shelters near me” to look through what resources are in your community. Most programs will have a “Contact Us” page for people to connect with their services over the phone or in person. is a free tool to find financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free and reduced cost-help in your area. Just enter your zip code to begin.

For assistance with food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services visit If you decide to call 211, you will speak with a live specialist in your area who can assist you and answer your questions. You can call 211 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - all completely confidentially.


Feeding America

Feeding America has an online database of food banks, food programs, and grocery assistance in local communities across the country. Just enter your zip code or state to begin.


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD helps people find shelter, food pantries, health clinics, and clothing in their communities with their online search tool. They also offer free assistance to people at risk of experiencing homelessness and in need of transitional housing.


United Way

Your local United Way can connect you to resources and assistance in your state. Type in your zip code or scroll down to find your state to begin.

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