How in America to get free food
Popular humor ascribes America to the status of "high-nutrition labor camp." Only a very lazy person can stay hungry here.
Having settled in the country legally and having lost income, you can apply for food stamps. But even if there is no official status, you will not be left without food. Specially created “food banks” - Foodbank - give out absolutely free not only food, but also clothes, diapers and even gifts for Christmas. ForumDaily has prepared detailed information on how such establishments work, where to find them and how to get help.
Listen to the sermon - get food
Russian Natalia Stepanenko arrived in California a few months ago. The woman says that she goes to the food bank 2-3 times a month. Until she and her husband found a permanent job, the couple was forced to seek help. “I do not see anything shameful in this,” says Natalia. - These organizations are very helpful to our family. My husband and I are both studying, we cannot get a job yet, because we do not know the language. So we survive at the expense of "feeders".
The food bank Natalia comes to is located in the church building. Neither her nor the others are asked for any documents. “In order to be given food, you just need to write down your name, surname and the address where you live,” the woman explains to the system. - After that you are given a number, and you go to the pastor's sermon. It lasts about half an hour, and then everyone gets a big bag of groceries. ”
As a rule, a food ration contains several loaves of bread, oatmeal or “quick breakfasts”, dried fruits and all sorts of canned food. Vegetables are added in season.
Irina Nikolaenko uses the services of such a bank in Chicago. Here, too, they do not ask what your financial situation is: if you come, then you are in need. “If you get well, you can take food for a whole month,” the woman says. - For example, the other day we were given potatoes. Drawers. And to her - onions, cabbage and even grapes with bananas. Take as much as you want! You don't have to go to the grocery store anymore. "
How it works
To see with my own eyes how it works, I set off food bank in Sacramento, in the capital of California. Immediately the first advice to those who also decide to go for a grocery set: the queue must be taken in the morning. If you came with a child, you can skip the queue without a queue
This food bank, like many similar organizations, is located in the church. My baby and I are not only allowed out of line, but they are also offered to immediately take food and go home, without even listening to the pastor's speech. They do not ask for documents, they only ask to name your postal code. In a set that everyone in need gets - rice, canned fish and vegetables, raisins, sweet syrup, frozen fish and a whole box of good pasta - they cost $ 2 per pack in the store.
And this is not the only bank in Sacramento. I go to a different address, not in the church, but in the office building. Here I am offered to take vegetables and fruits: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, watermelons, melons. The child is handed chocolate milk and a packed lunch: crackers, cheese, sausage and sweet carrots. They ask you to show any ID and remind you: “Everything that was given to your child at the food bank - you can safely eat it, because it is healthy food. Milk contains minimal fat and no additives. ” I check - it is so. All food banks in America actually claim to provide only healthy food.
Received help - became a volunteer
As told in the food banks that I visited, most of the volunteers are people who themselves were once forced to seek help. Now they donate money or things, or they come to help the food bank itself. You can learn how to become a volunteer at a special Onlinethat is looking for workers for food banks. Extra hands are always needed here: deliver food, fill out people’s questionnaires, enter new names in the database, pack up and distribute food. By the way, this is a good way to practice English.
Tatyana Lebedeva is one of the food bank volunteers. “All employees of our office were told that everyone can volunteer,” said Tatiana. - Those who wish indicate the time and date, a bus comes for us and takes us to one of the food banks. The task is to pack food in packages. At first I liked this job, but when I saw people coming for food, I felt a little uneasy. There are healthy men in the queue for food, whom I always look at and think, what is stopping them from going to work? "
Research Center Pew for several years now she has been sounding the alarm and declares that help is often used by those who are not entitled to it at all. That is why food banks ask for a document of income if a person wants to receive a Christmas gift or clothes and household appliances - food banks also help with this.
Warm clothes and gifts for Christmas
If you closely follow the news on food bank sites, you can receive not only food and clothing, but also gifts for the holidays. By Thanksgiving, food banks were given turkeys, and in December you can get Christmas presents and winter clothes. On their sites, food banks post information about where to get warm clothes for children or для взрослыхwhere and when give out Christmas gifts for children and holiday food packages.
Where the food is and who pays
In America, working more 200 Food Banksthat feed more than 25 million Americans every year. Of these, 9 million are children and 3 million are elderly people. According to statistics in "well-fed", as is commonly believed, America 1 of 7 Americans it is full because it eats with the help of food banks.
The food bank usually works directly with food producers and suppliers. This includes goods that are about to expire. Volunteers in T-shirts form food packages that are distributed to people free of charge. But if you come to a food bank and see that the products are on sale, do not rush to shout about a violation. Food banks are allowed to sell their excess inventory. For example, a food bank warehouse in Idaho was overflowing with potatoes. It was put up for sale, and with the proceeds they bought other goods for those in need.
Food banks were created to help those whose incomes are below the subsistence level. But, as practice shows, anyone who asks can get food. Volunteers do not refuse those who came. But every time they remind you: if you know someone who lives worse and harder than you, let him know about the food bank.
You can find out where the food bank closest to your home is located at This site.
In addition to food, food banks provide people with clothes, household chemicals, equipment, and even pet food and clothing. True, most of these things are not new and in order to get them, you already need to show an income statement and a rental contract.
Food banks in different cities of America
Each food bank has its own schedule. Some people work 2 once a week, starting to distribute products from the 10-00 in the morning to the 1-00 of the day. Others are open only at the end of the work week. So, if you are going to go to the food bank, do not be lazy to go to the official website and carefully study the information.
Food bank in Chicago
Food bank in New York
Food bank in San Francisco
Food bank in Los angeles
Food bank in San diego
Food bank in Miami
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