Arizona Food Assistance

Food Stamps | Food Banks | Food Pantries | Soup Kitchens | WIC

School Meals | Special Milk | Summer Food | Senior Nutrition


Arizona food assistance programs and sources include the State run Nutrition Assistance program, the food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens – all helping local residents in need to cope with hunger and food insecurity.

Food Stamps in Arizona – The Arizona Nutrition Assistance (NA)

A cornerstone in Arizona food assistance is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) run by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES).

The SNAP in Arizona is known as the Arizona Nutrition Assistance Program that provides the Arizona food assistance benefits to all eligible residents.

You apply to find out if you qualify for food stamps in the State of Arizona. If approved, you will start getting food stamps a.k.a. Arizona NA benefits on a monthly basis.

The monthly Arizona food assistance benefits are called allotments and are deposited in dollars into the Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) accounts of each beneficiary.

This is done each month on a certain date following the Benefits Issuance Schedule.

Arizona Nutrition Assistance benefits help needy Arizonians buy the food they need for good health.

Each EBT account comes with a QUEST bank debit card that can be used at any of the Arizona food stamps approved grocery stores.

Find more on what kind of food you can buy using your Arizona Nutrition Assistance benefits…

Nutrition Assistance Program | Eligibility | Apply | Approval | Benefits


Food Banks in Arizona

Arizona food assistance banks play an important role in the overall effort to end hunger and food insecurity throughout the State.

Their main objective is to collect food from various sources like wholesale organizations, grocery stores, and farms who have food in excess and are willing to donate.

Food banks then sort store and distribute donated food to local soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries.

The Food Bank Association of Arizona is such non-profit organization that works to alleviate the hunger in Arizona.

Arizona Food Banks


Food Pantries in Arizona

Arizona food assistance pantries offer food directly to people that need it and who have means to cook it.

They usually receive food from local food banks and in turn distribute it to low-income individuals and households at no cost.

Food pantries are typically located in facilities where received food can be stored and handled in a safe and sanitary manner.

Each food pantry serves a designated local area and most of them require prior registration and approval before food can be distributed to a particular individual or a family.

Arizona Food Pantries


Soup Kitchens in Arizona

Soup kitchens serve cooked meals on site to needy people at no cost. Like the food pantries, they normally receive their food from local food banks.

Soup kitchens take care mostly of homeless people and people who do not have the means to cook for themselves.

They require storage, cleaning, and cooking equipment as they have to do food preparation, serving, and the cleaning after the meals.

Food pantries are typically located in facilities where received food can be stored and handled in a safe and sanitary manner.

Each food pantry serves a designated local area, and most of them require prior registration and approval before food can be served to a particular individual or a family.

Arizona Soup Kitchens


WIC Program in Arizona

Arizona Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals to Arizona pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children during times of important growth.

Arizona Women, Infants, and Children Program


School Meals in Arizona

Schools meals in Arizona are offered mainly through National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The Arizona school meals programs make nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free meals available to school children each school day in the year.

School meals nutritional standards are based on the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine and U.S. Government and teachers have reported that students perform better in class if they get regular meals. Children getting school breakfast also had significantly reduced absence and tardiness rates, according to a Tufts University study.

Arizona School Lunch Program | Arizona School Breakfast Program


Special Milk Program in Arizona

Arizona Special Milk Program offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps. Any child in a school or institution that participates in the Special Milk Program can get milk. Schools may elect to offer free milk to low-income children. To qualify for Arizona Special Milk, the child must be a resident of the State of Arizona.

Arizona Special Milk Program


Summer Food Program in Arizona

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free meals and snacks to help low-income Arizona children get nutritious meals in the summer time.  The SFSP is a federal program that provides grants to local sponsors who want to combine a food service with a summer activity program.

The funding provided by SFSP ensures that Arizona children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.

Arizona Summer Food Service Program


Senior Nutrition in Arizona

Arizona Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors with special checks to buy fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers’ markets. To qualify for Arizona senior nutrition special checks, the applicants must be 60 years of age or older and their gross household income must not exceed certain limits.

An application must be completed for each person in the household that wants to apply for the SFMNP benefits.  Once approved, each beneficiary must reapply every year to continue participating in the Arizona Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Learn more about how senior nutrition program works.

Arizona Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Sources: State Agencies, FNS, USDA