Food Assistance

Information and resources for Alexandria residents that may need food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Page updated on Aug 12, 2020 at 1:18 PM

Food Assistance

Text the word FOOD (or COMIDA) to 877-877 to find the nearest emergency food distribution sites.


Food Distribution Events | Week of August 9, 2020

Thursday, August 13, 4-5:30 p.m. ALIVE!, in coordination with the meal distribution of Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant, ARHA, and the City of Alexandria, will distribute bags of shelf-stable groceries, produce, and bread on Thursday, August 13 from 4 pm - 5:30 pm at the parking lot of Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St). Drive-through and walk-up service available. People are encouraged to people to drive through whenever possible for contactless distribution; however, walk-ups are welcome and should maintain 6 feet social distance, wear a face mask and bring carts or reusable bags. Food may not be consumed at any site.

Friday, August 14, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. A Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) distribution will take place August 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at First Agape Baptist Community of Faith Church (2423 Mount Vernon Ave.). Families will receive pre-boxed items that may consist of a variety of fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The distribution is part of a USDA program designed to provide immediate relief to households affected by COVID-19 and ensure every household continues to receive and have access to the food they need. There are no eligibility requirements, anyone who would like to participate is welcome. 

Saturday, August 15, 8:30-10:30 a.m. ALIVE! Truck-to-Trunk will distribute food at two drive-through sites on Saturday, August 15 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am at the parking lots of Cora Kelly (3600 Commonwealth Ave) and John Adams (5651 Rayburn Ave) Elementary Schools. This distribution includes bags of shelf stable groceries, fresh produce, and eggs, while supplies last. People are encouraged to people to drive through whenever possible for contactless distribution; however, walk-ups are welcome and should maintain 6 feet social distance, wear a face mask and bring carts or reusable bags. Food may not be consumed at any site.


Food Distribution Events Dashboard
Food distribution has been a concern since the COVID-19 crisis began, and many public and private organizations have responded to the need. The City has developed an interactive dashboard to measure the impact of the combined efforts, including locations, demographic and food program data, and food distribution events. Use the maps and charts to locate food distribution sites, investigate areas of interest, compare areas and more.

ALIVE! Grocery Distribution
For the most current ALIVE! food distribution locations and schedules, visit the ALIVE! website. Updates are made weekly. To be added to a notification list to receive updates on, food distribution, email lpoon@alive-inc.org.  ALIVE! also accepts limited referrals for home delivery of food to individuals who cannot make it to the sites. 

 Hunger Free Alexandria
For food pantry locations and schedules in Alexandria, visit hungerfreealexandria.com or call 703.662.1067. 

Food for Alexandria City Public School Students (ACPS)
For information about food provided by ACPS to children and youth during the school shutdown, visit the  ACPS website.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for Families with Children
P-EBT is a temporary food benefit available in Virginia to families with children who would have received free or reduced price meals if schools were open. The purpose of the P-EBT benefit is to supplement existing nutrition programs for low-income households during the pandemic. It does not replace meals provided through the school programs during unexpected closures, such as the summer meal programs that will begin when the school year is over. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will issue benefits to eligible households with a total benefit of $376 per eligible student. Virginia households are eligible if they have students who are either eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. Households do not have to apply for P-EBT; schools will provide information for all eligible students directly to VDSS. If you believe there are eligible students in your household but you do not receive P-EBT by the middle of June, call 804.726.7000. Read FAQs in English and Spanish.

Home Delivered Frozen Meals Program
DCHS Division of Aging and Adult Services, Senior Services of Alexandria and Jeffery's Catering are delivering frozen meals to Alexandria residents having difficulty getting food and are home bound who are aged 60 and older, their spouses, or an individual with a disability, regardless of age, who resides with a program recipient aged 60 or above. There is no charge for the meals; donations will be accepted by mail and used to expand the program. For more information, view the flyer in English, Spanish and Amharic. To apply for the meals, call 703.746.5999.

Senior Services of Alexandria Groceries to Go Program 
In partnership with Giant Foods, Senior Services of Alexandria provides a grocery delivery program to seniors living in the City of Alexandria. Screened volunteers shop for and deliver groceries year-round to seniors every other week. Groceries are ordered based off the grocery recipient’s personal shopping list with volunteers taking the order over the phone. There are no delivery fees and no minimum order requirements. To be eligible, seniors must be 60 years of age or older, be an Alexandria resident, and have a debit, credit or EBT card. To find out more about the program or to learn how to apply, email groceries@seniorservicesalex.org or call 703.836.4414, ext. 119.  Visit www.seniorServicesAlex.org for more information on all of our programs.


SNAP, TANF and Medicaid

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid programs aid households in need of food, medical insurance and/or cash assist for families with dependent children. To learn more about applying for any of these benefits, visit commonhelp.virginia.gov or call 703.746.5700. Most programs require interviews, which will be conducted over the phone. (Read FAQs regarding SNAP and Medicaid.)

The Virginia Department of Social Services announced on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, that it is extending services and providing emergency allotments for households currently receiving SNAP benefits and exempting all localities from the work benefit.

  • Extended Certifications: Certifications expiring in March, April and May 2020, will be extended for six months until September, October and November 2020. For cases already in renewal and cases where renewals have already been processed, the certification date will not be extended.
  • Emergency Allotments: Emergency allotments for current SNAP households will be issued for the months of March and April 2020. The emergency allotment will be the difference in the maximum allotment for the household size and the household’s regular monthly allotment. If a household currently receives the maximum allotment, they will not receive an emergency allotment. March emergency allotments were issued March 25, 2020. April emergency allotments will be issued April 16, 2020.
  • Statewide Exemption from the Work Requirement: Effective April 1, 2020, all localities will be exempt from the work requirement. This will be in effect until the end of the month subsequent to the month in which the public health emergency is ended. 

SNAP Double Dollar Incentive Program
Beginning April 25, 2020, SNAP EBT will be accepted for pre-order items at the Old Town Farmers Market. To submit an order, send your contact information and pre-order items to SNAPEBT@alexandriava.gov no later than Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. Find out more about pre-orders at farmers' markets in Alexandria.

Virginia Receives USDA Approval to Join SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program
As of May 29, Virginians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can now pay for their groceries online through Walmart and Amazon platforms and have them delivered. Only eligible food may be purchased with SNAP benefits; delivery fees and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved Virginia to participate in an innovative online purchasing pilot program. Transactions will take place using SNAP customers’ secure Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). For more background on the program and a set of FAQs, visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot. Retailers interested in participating the program can find more information and apply by contacting USDA.


YMCA Produce Distribution

The YMCA is offering produce distribution across DC, Maryland and Virginia. Produce is available for anyone, free of charge while supplies last. Locations and times:

DC: YMCA Anthony Bowen, Mondays 4 - 6 p.m. |  YMCA Calomiris, Mondays 4 - 6 p.m.

Virginia: YMCA Alexandria, Mondays 4 - 6 p.m., Tuesdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  |  YMCA Fairfax County RestonWednesdays 4 - 6 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  

Maryland:

  • YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Wednesdays 4 - 6 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  |   CAQT Apartments, 8733 Carroll Ave #4, Silver Spring, Wed 4 - 6 p.m., Thurs 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  
  • YMCA Silver Spring, Wednesdays 4 - 6 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  
  • Trinity Lutheran Church in Bowie, Mondays 4 - 6 p.m., Tuesdays 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Contact health@ymcadc.org  for assistance finding other resources. 


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