COVID-19 and the Head Start Community

Food Security for Families

Many Head Start families are struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 emergency. To meet the needs of school-aged children, the USDA is coordinating several efforts which may apply to siblings of Head Start children. Explore available resources below.

Meals 4 Kids
Help families access free meals for their school-age children. Use this tool to find nearby school meal distribution sites, as well as hours of operation and contact information. The service is available in English and Spanish.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides some households an EBT card with the value of the free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the days that schools are closed. Schools must close for at least five consecutive days for families to receive a P-EBT card. Eligible households include those whose children are certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals and who attend schools that offer free school meals. The P-EBT program is currently available in 19 states.

USDA National Hunger Hotline
The National Hunger Hotline offers information for individuals and families on how to obtain food. Hotline staff connect callers with emergency food providers in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services. The service is available in English and Spanish, Monday–Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

  • English: 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479)
  • Spanish: 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273)