Nutrition Assistance

Sept. 7, 2022

Food insecurity has been a pressing issue in Arizona as over 2 million individuals are faced with hunger yearly. Within the past year, the average price of groceries has increased by 12.2%, making it the largest 12-month spike since April 1979. This increase, which is still rising by about 1% every month, can directly affect your patients and their families dealing with food insecurity. Assistance programs throughout Arizona are available to help these individuals fight hunger, lessen food insecurity, and inturn, build stronger communities. 

Below is information about state-funded assistance programs that you can refer food-insecure patients to:

SNAP: The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) provides eligible households with monthly benefits that can be used to purchase food. Individuals and families using SNAP benefits can also join the Double Up Food Bucks Programs, where they can spend up to $20 daily at local farmer's markets. Patients can apply for SNAP through their website and over the phone at 1-855-432-5785, Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. The SNAP application process has been shortened for patients 60 years and older through the Elderly Simplified Application Project. 

TEFAP: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) gives additional supplements to the diets of low-income individuals and families by providing emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. Emergency food packages with fresh produce, grains, pasta, and meat-based protein can be picked up at local distribution sites. Additionally, congregate feeding sites provide at least one free meal daily and provide health-related services, including transportation, health screenings, social service referrals, and more! Individuals receiving SNAP benefits are automatically eligible for TEFAP; Eligibility requirements for TEFAP can be found on their website

FDPIR: Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) supplies food to low-income households living on Indian reservations and Native American families residing in designated areas near tribal reservations. Participants select from more than 100 nutritious fruits, vegetables, meat-based protein, legumes, and traditional foods every month. The FDPIR website can be used to check eligibility and learn more about nutrition assistance for Native Americans in Arizona! Additionally, the Navajo Department of Health offers a food distribution program  for eligible individuals and families living on or near the Navajo Reservation. 

Patients can be redirected to the Arizona Department of Economic Security website to check their eligibility for Nutrition Assistance programs and learn more about state-funded assistance programs!

Other Food Assistance Programs:

The Arizona Food Bank Network helps food-insecure individuals find food banks, assistance programs, and school closure feeding sites by using zip codes to search over 300 locations on their interactive map. The site also allows patients to narrow their search to food boxes, onsite meals, home meals, infant boxes, and food co-op boxes to help their specific needs!