Google has launched a new website called Find Food Support, which puts important resources on how to find free and affordable food in the United States in one place. Perhaps the most useful feature that the website can offer is a new one Google Maps tool that can point you to the nearest food bank, food pantry or school lunch program retrieval site.
As the technology giant explains, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hunger for people around the world. According to Feeding America (PDF), 45 million people in the United States alone did not have reliable access to bargain food last year, including children who lost access to school lunches. It’s a 30 percent increase from 2019. The nonprofit has a slightly better forecast for 2021, but it also believes 42 million people in the country – 13 million of whom are children, and 1 in 5 of whom they are black individuals – they may experience food insecurity this year.
Google has worked with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to add 90,000 posts with free food support in 50 states on Maps. The company said it will add more locations in the future. To use the tool, just go to the website, either on a PC or on a mobile, and type in your situation. It will then show you the nearest food banks and dispensaries with their addresses, phone numbers, and the days and hours they are operational.
Find Food Support also contains YouTube videos that show how food insecurity affects people of all walks of life. The hope is to destigmatize food insecurity, since the stigma associated with receiving help prevents people from seeking groups and organizations that can help them in their time of need. In addition, the website contains links to food support hotlines, state benefit guides and information for specific demographics and communities, such as seniors, families and children, and military families. And in case you don’t need food aid and want to help, you can also find information on how you can donate food, time or money on the website.
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