Google has built a dedicated website to help people search for food pantries, kitchens, and lunch programs.
Dawn Punjab Bureau : The new site, which launched Tuesday, is at findfoodsupport.withgoogle.com. It includes a Google Maps locator with more than 90,000 places that offer free food support throughout 50 states. Google said more locations will be added over time.
Food insecurity increased during COVID-19 shutdowns, and now that it’s summer break, students who rely on free lunch programs at school need more help tracking down regular access to meals. Google said searches for “food bank near me,” “food stamps application,” and “school lunch pick up” just after the start of the pandemic were the highest they’ve ever been.
Going to the dedicated food support website pulls up information about programs and locations that offer food and meals, as well as details about when those locations are open and contact information. Although the information isn’t built into the Google Maps app, the site has a Google Maps locator to show nearby pantries or kitchens.
Information for the site came from partnerships with organizations like No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While the locator pulls up information based on, well, location, the site also has information for specific groups, like seniors, families, kids, and military families. There are also hotlines to call for more support, state guides (since benefit programs in California might look different from those in Virginia), and other guidance for hungry families.