Emergency Food Assistance


Food Assistance When There is an Emergency

You and your family may be able to receive emergency food assistance when there is an unanticipated school closure, an extreme weather event (flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake), a natural disaster, or other similar situation in your community. When a disaster strikes, the USDA supplies food to disaster relief organizations for mass feeding or household distribution. State programs such as Colorado's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) may offer special food programs for both existing clients and those recently affected by the emergency.


Where can I find food?

If emergency shelters are set up, all children ages 0–18 may receive up to three free meals each day at an emergency shelter. An appropriate facility may include a school or institution that provides meals to displaced families.
Check for these resources in the event of an emergency:
For information about food safety in an emergency, go to FoodSafety.gov's website.


  • Eligibility for WIC is determined at WIC Clinics across the state.
  • To find a Colorado WIC clinic near you, use the Colorado WIC Clinic map on the Colorado WIC website.
  • Children homeless from a disaster may receive free meal benefits under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
  • Children in families receiving D-SNAP are categorically eligible for free meal benefits.
  • All children 0-18 can get up to three free meals each day through CACFP at designated emergency shelters.
  • Eligibility remains for the entire school year and up to 30 days into the next school year.
  • Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, children are eligible for free meal benefits 12 months after a disaster.

Resources for Providers