Where To Get Free Food, Low-Cost Meals
Updated list of food pantries, meal distribution sites and more.
If you or someone you know needs food, here is information on where to find food pantries, meal distribution sites and meals for children as well as pay-what-you-can options, meal delivery programs and information on how to get money for buying groceries. This information is updated regularly.
Do you know of a resource that is not listed here? Text “MKE” to 73224 and let us know!
Find a food pantry near you
The Hunger Task Force has created an interactive map complete with soup kitchens, MPS meal sites, non-MPS meal sites, mobile markets, meal sites for seniors and more. You can search by ZIP code or by resource type to find what you are looking for at a location near you. The map is updated daily but call the location before you visit to make sure it is still open.
Feeding America also has an interactive map of food pantries and meal programs located across Wisconsin. The map is updated regularly but call the location before you visit to make sure it is still open.
Use the 2-1-1 Wisconsin website to find the food pantry in your neighborhood.
Call Impact at 2-1-1, which can connect you to food pantries and meal programs in your area. You can also text your ZIP code to TXT-211.
You can also text “MKEfood” to 73224 to connect with a News414 reporter about food resources.
Do I need a photo ID to go to a food pantry?
For some, yes. This is because some pantries are restricted in the areas they can serve and are required to verify that you live in the area they serve. However, not all pantries require an ID.
If you are not sure if you need an ID, call the food pantry directly or text “MKE” to 73224 and a reporter can get you the information you need.
Tricklebee Café, located at 4424 W. North Ave., is a community cafe offering vegan and gluten free options. The café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call 414-488-2477 to order for pickup or dine in.
Victory Garden Initiative, or VGI, is a food justice nonprofit and urban farm based in Harambee. In addition to other programming, VGI hosts a pay-what-you-can farm stand every Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 249 E. Concordia Ave. until Oct. 29. Food at the farm stand is grown at VGI’s farm across the street. In addition to pay-what-you-can food, there are also garden tools and seeds available for checkout to start your own garden.
Officials from Emerald City Catering, located at 3555 S. 13th St., said that people can call to see if they can reserve leftover meals or meals made with extra produce the company did not use. Meal prices will be pay-what-you-can. Call 414-672-3434 from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to inquire about the options.
MKE Good Food Bus is a mobile food truck that offers produce on a pay-what-you-can scale. Cash, PayPal, Venmo and Cash App accepted. Text 414-367-9459 for the exact location of the truck. But the truck will generally be in these neighborhoods on the following days:
- Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. : Metcalfe Park, King Park, Harambee, Brewers Hill, Lindsay Heights.
- Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Sherman Park, Washington Heights, Silver Spring.
- Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.: West Allis, Walker’s Point, Clarke Square, Bay View.
- Saturdays 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Bluemound Heights, Story Hill, Enderis Park.
Get free or low-cost food delivered to you
Milwaukee County families with children 18 and younger can get seven-day meal packs delivered to them weekly at no charge through the Gorilla to Go program. The program is a joint effort between the Hunger Task Force and Gourmet Gorilla, a kids meal supplier based in Chicago. To be eligible, parents only need to live in Milwaukee County and have at least one child who is 18 or younger. Currently, the program is adding new applicants to a waitlist due to overwhelming demand, which you can sign up for here.
Additionally, for those 60 or older and/or have a qualifying disability in the 53204, 53215 and 53224 ZIP codes, Friedens Community Ministries will deliver food from one of its four pantries. Call 414-289-6030 to sign up.
Get money for food
Those making less than the maximum income requirements can get EBT credit to buy food through Wisconsin’s FoodShare program. You can check to see if you are eligible here, and instructions on how to apply here.
Parents of children who receive free or reduced-price school meals may also be eligible to receive credit to buy food through Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT. Three P-EBT programs focused on school age children, children under 6, and summer meals respectively. You can view eligibility for each program here.
We’ve updated our list on where struggling residents can get free food or low-cost meals was originally published by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.