Google on Tuesday unveiled a new website and Google Maps tool that aims to connect people with free food support in their community. The Find Food Support site also includes links to state benefits guides and information for specific communities, such as seniors, children and military families.
"The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed exacerbated hunger for millions of people," wrote Emily Ma, head of Food for Good at Google, in a blog post. "Feeding America estimates that the number of those without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable food grew to 45 million people in 2020, including 15 million children. That equates to one in seven Americans."
The locator tool aims to help people find the nearest food bank, food pantry or school lunch pickup program. It includes 90,000 sites across all 50 states where people can find free food support, said Google. The search giant worked with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder and the US Department of Agriculture to capture locations and said more will be added.
How to find food support near you
To use Google's new locator tool, head to findfoodsupport.withgoogle.com on a desktop or mobile device. From there, scroll down to the "Find local support section," where you'll see a map.
In the search bar on the map, enter a location where you want to find food support, such as a city, ZIP code or street address. The map will pull up locations, marked with a blue bubble, and you can scroll around the map to adjust your area.
To get details on a specific site, click on the blue bubble. This will pull up the name and address of the site, as well as the days and hours of operation and a link to the partner that provided the data.
Google cautions that people should call locations to verify times they're open and whether there are any requirements.