Text 4 Food


With just one text message, people can now get help applying for SNAP (food stamps) and locating nearby food pantries. 

Since 2002, more than 47,000 people have called the Coalition’s SNAP (Food Stamp) Hotline to apply for food assistance. Now people who need help can simply send a text message from their cell phones to apply for public benefits and find their nearest food pantry.

Here’s how:

  • Text SNAP to 84700 to apply for SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. A hotline counselor will call back within one business day.
  • Text NEEDFOOD to 84700 to locate the nearest food pantry. A staffer will call back within one business day with locations and hours for area food pantries and soup kitchens.

Once clients apply for benefits through the SNAP Hotline, they can also subscribe to receive free text alerts from the Coalition about deadlines for application approvals and benefit renewals.

“Applying for SNAP can be a complicated and daunting process, especially for people who are applying for the first time in their lives,” said Coalition Policy Center Manager Julie Zaebst. “An applicant can be denied for any number of reasons, often through no fault of their own. This text message service helps clients navigate the process so they don’t lose out on benefits that they need to feed their families.”

Text messaging shows increasing promise as a reliable way to reach low-income families who need help putting food on the table. More than 83 percent of American adults own cell phones, and three-quarters of them—73 percent—send and receive text messages, according to the Pew Research Center.