Start here for up-to-date information on food pantries
Food pantry hours can vary from day to day, especially during the holidays and with COVID-19 cases rising over the past few weeks. If you are looking for a food pantry, take a look at the resources below or call the pantry you want to visit beforehand.
Use the 2-1-1 Wisconsin website to find the food pantry in your neighborhood. You can also call IMPACT at 2-1-1 or text your ZIP code to TXT-211, which can connect you to food pantries and meal programs in your area.
The Hunger Task Force has created an interactive map complete with soup kitchens, MPS meal sites, non-MPS meal sites, mobile markets, meal sites for seniors and more. You can search by ZIP code or by resource type to find what you are looking for at a location near you. The map is updated daily, but call the location before you visit to make sure it is still open.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin also has a collection of resources, including a pantry locator and information and help with applying for FoodShare and Women, Infant and Children, or WIC, credits. All of this information is here.
You can also text “MKEfood” to 73224 to connect with one of our reporters about food resources.
Do I need a photo ID to go to a food pantry?
For some, yes. This is because some pantries are required to verify that you live in the area they serve.
If you are not sure if you need an ID, call the food pantry directly or text “MKE” to 73224 and a reporter can get you the information you need.
Pay what you can
Some restaurants and grocery stores allow customers to pay what they can, even if that is $0. However, there is often also a suggested price or way to donate for those who want to support these efforts.
Tricklebee Café, 4424 W. North Ave., is a community cafe offering vegan and gluten free options. The café is open for dine-in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call 414-488-2477 to order for pickup.
The Victory Garden Initiative’s pantry will be opening back up on Tuesday, Jan. 4 and every Tuesday thereafter from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hot meals cooked by Harambee resident Helen Dixon will be served.
Free or low-cost food delivery (60 and older)
For those who are 60 or older, Meals on Wheels will deliver meals to you and anyone living with you who also qualifies. You can view eligibility requirements and apply here and view this month’s menu here.
Additionally, for those 60 or older and/or have a qualifying disability in the 53204, 53205, 53206, 53215, 53223, 53224 and 53225 ZIP codes, Friedens Community Ministries will deliver food from one of its four pantries. Call 414-289-6030 to sign up.
The Hunger Task Force, DoorDash and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha have partnered to deliver free meal stockboxes to seniors (60 or older) with a monthly income of less than $1,396 for an individual or less than $1,888 for a two-person household. Eligible ZIP codes can be found here.
Get money for food
Those making less than the maximum income requirements can get EBT credit to buy food through Wisconsin’s FoodShare program. You can check to see if you are eligible here, and you can find instructions on how to apply here.
Parents of children who receive free or reduced-price school meals may also be eligible to receive credit to buy food through Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT. You can find more information about who is eligible here.
How long will extra FoodShare last?
Currently FoodShare recipients are receiving an “emergency allotment” of FoodShare credit that amounts to the difference between what the recipient would normally qualify for and the maximum monthly allotment for your household, or an extra $95, whichever is higher.
These emergency allotments are confirmed through February. However, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, who administers the FoodShare program, said it expects emergency allotments to continue as long as a federal public health emergency is in place. Right now, the public health emergency has been declared through mid-April.
Additional benefits for recipients of FoodShare or P-EBT?
Recipients of FoodShare or P-EBT are eligible to receive Amazon Prime membership at half the original monthly cost. If you lack reliable transportation, you can use this membership to receive free two-hour delivery on food items when you buy $35 or more in groceries.