Additional Assistance 2018-03-19T10:09:50+00:00

Additional Assistance Resource Guide

What does this resource guide contain?

This food and nutrition resource guide, provided by All Faiths Food Bank, is a tool for professionals to support individuals and families who are in need of food. The guide contains program descriptions, contact information and additional information for other services not provided by All Faiths Food Bank.  For information on All Faiths Food Bank services see HERE.

How will this resource guide help a hungry family?

With information from this resource guide, an individual or family will be able to contact free food resources provided by the Federal Government, the State of Florida, Sarasota and Desoto Counties, and All Faiths Food Bank.

Who should use this resource guide?

This resource guide is for professionals or volunteers who interact with people who may need food and nutrition resources. To gain the greatest benefit from this guide, please review its contents and become familiar with the programs offered to residents of Sarasota and Desoto Counties. If you have questions, feel free to contact any of the organizations. These resources exist to support people who may need them.


Federal/State Programs

2-1-1 Referral Program

2-1-1 Suncoast, is a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dial  2-1-1 or visit

To contact an information and referral specialist, call 941-308-4357 or

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net, offering nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and access benefits.


Toll free: 866-762-2237

How to Apply: Customers can apply for SNAP by visiting the Department of Children and Families (DCF) ACCESS Online Website on any computer with internet connection. If the customer does not have computer access, DCF community partner sites are locations where customers can apply.

Sarasota County: ACCESS Florida Service Center, 877-595-0384, 1864 17th St., Sarasota, FL 34234
DeSoto County: Dept of Children and Families, 863-263-9008, 805 North Mills Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.


How to Apply: Call the local WIC office or call toll free to apply for WIC. The local WIC office will provide a date and time for a WIC certification visit. At this visit, the household income and the medical/nutrition status of each applicant will be reviewed.

Call Center: 1-800-342-3556; Online:
Sarasota County: 941-861-2929, 2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237
North Port: 941-861-3336, 6950 Outreach Way, North Port, FL 34287
DeSoto County: 863-993-4601 or 863-491-7580, 34 South Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266


Federal/State School Meal Programs

Direct Certification: All school districts nationwide are required to directly certify children living in households that receive SNAP/Food Stamp benefits for free school meals. Direct certification is also possible through enrollment in certain Medicaid programs. States and school districts should also work with other agencies, such as the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) office to certify without paper application other categorically eligible children. Children who are categorically eligible and may be directly certified include children in foster care, Head Start, homeless, migrant or living in households receiving SNAP/Food Stamp, certain Medicaid programs, FDPIR or TANF benefits may be directly certified.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.

How to Apply: Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals at any time throughout the school year by submitting a household application directly to your school. Your school will provide you with an application upon request. If you are earning at or below current income eligibility guidelines we encourage you to contact your school to fill out a school meal application. The school or local education agency will process your application and issue an eligibility determination. Income Eligibility Guidelines:


How to apply:

Income eligibility guidelines:

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services contact info: 800-504-6609


CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons.


State: Fla Dept of Elder Affairs 850-414-2337, Fla Dept of Health 850-245-4323
Federal: USDA Food and Nutrition Service,
USDA Food and Nutrition Services:


CSFP works to improve the health of low income persons (at least 60 years old) by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods.


Florida CSFP/TEFAP, Lisbeth Rytlewski 850-617-7435


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