Food Resources Available for Vulnerable Populations
San Rafael, CA – As Marin County residents continue to face an extended stay at home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS) wants to remind vulnerable individuals that access to healthy food is available through a number of resources.
Residents can search for their nearest food pantry or emergency food distribution location using San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s Food Locator App. In addition, information on food resources, services and assistance specifically for older adults (age 60 and over) and persons with disabilities can be obtained by email (457-INFO@marincounty.org) or by calling 415-457-INFO.
For some, loss of income is the largest barrier to meeting their food needs. Those who are facing such circumstances can seek help from Marin HHS’s Public Assistance Programs, including:
- CalWORKS: Cash aid for individuals with children under age 18
- CalFresh: Cash assistance for food purchases for families and individuals
- Medi-Cal: medical care through Medi-Cal and County Medical Services Program
- General Relief: Cash Assistance for individuals over 18 with no children and with no or limited resources
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC): supplemental food and nutrition program low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children under age five who have a nutritional risk
Applications for Medi-Cal, CalWORKS and CalFresh are accepted by phone at 1-877-410-8817 or online. In addition, potential applicants can pick up a paper application in English or Spanish outside of the Marin HHS offices at 120 N. Redwood Drive or 3240 Kerner Boulevard in San Rafael.
WIC applications are accepted over the phone by calling 415-473-6889. General Relief applications can be obtained at the locations noted above or by calling 415-473-3350.
Those already enrolled in CalFresh can review a list of local retailers who accept EBT cards through an online EBT locator.
Some local grocery stores* are holding special shopping hours for seniors and individuals with disabilities:
- Costco (Novato): Tuesday and Thursday – 8 a.m. to 9 a.m
- Nugget Markets (Novato, Corte Madera and Tiburon): 7 a.m daily
- Safeway: Tuesday and Thursday – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Target: Wednesday – 8 a.m
- Whole Foods: 8 a.m – 9 a.m daily
Those who are unable to access any of the resources above and have no other safe means to access food can call 415-473-7191, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. – noon or 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. to speak to a live person regarding possible food options. Thanks to a partnership with local community organizations, one option available through the call center is a limited supply of grocery bag deliveries will be available beginning April 5 for individuals who do are ineligible for the food options listed above (while supplies last).
* = not an exhaustive list of Marin food retailers offering special shopping hours. Please contact your local store to verify any special offerings.