Food Assistance

Food pantries distribute groceries directly to people in need and provide emergency or short-term assistance with food. Some food pantries may also provide referral or educational resources on government assistance programs, counseling, or nonfinancial support such as clothing.

While the exact type of food provided will vary based on the pantry or resources available at the food bank, in general many will provide perishable items, vegetables, bread, frozen items, and others forms of nutritious meals. Food is collected through donations, food drives or direct purchases and distributed at local sites across the state. They are usually coordinated by municipal social service or senior service offices or by faith communities and other community-based organizations.

Many food pantries are part of larger food bank networks including Foodshare (Hartford and Tolland counties) and CT Food Bank (all other counties).

Eligibility Criteria

Individual food pantries establish their own eligibility criteria and application process. The criteria may include residency in a specific area, income limits, and frequency of use (for example, a food bank may have a once a month limit).

Services and Fees

Nonperishable and, sometimes, fresh food is provided to eligible participants. There is no fee.

Financial Options for Food Pantries

There is no fee required to receive food from food pantries.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP):
This emergency food program provides specific grocery items to eligible households through participating food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.

Find in Your Area

Enter your ZIP Code below to find a food pantry location near you. Visit the CT Food Bank website for a monthly schedule for available food pantries.

Find in Your Area