Google launches tool to help people find food support in their community

Google’s new locator tool can help people find the nearest food bank, food pantry or school lunch pickup site.

Screenshot by CNET

Google on Tuesday unveiled a new website and Google Maps tool that aims to connect people with free food support in their community. The Find Food Support site also includes links to state benefits guides and information for specific communities, such as seniors, children and military families. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed exacerbated hunger for millions of people,” wrote Emily Ma, head of Food for Good at Google, in a blog post. “Feeding America estimates that the number of those without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable food grew to 45 million people in 2020, including 15 million children. That equates to one in seven Americans.”

The locator tool aims to help people find the nearest food bank, food pantry or school lunch pickup program. It includes 90,000 sites across all 50 states where people can find free food support, said Google. People can enter their address in a search bar, and the tool will display information on the closest supports site. The site cautions that people should call locations to verify times they’re open and whether there are any requirements. 

Google worked with No Kid Hungry, FoodFinder and the US Department of Agriculture to capture locations and said more will be added.

More to come. 

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