Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a food pantry and a food bank?
A food pantry is an agency that distributes groceries directly to individuals and families in need to be prepared at home. A food bank is "the food pantry's food pantry." It is a large warehouse facility that collects, sorts and equitably distributes all types of food to pantries, shelters, community meal programs and other 501 (c)(3) charitable social service organizations that may offer a meal with their programming. A food bank does not typically provide assistance directly to the public.
How many pantries are there in Racine?
The Racine County Food Bank currently provides assistance to 16 pantries located throughout Racine County, 13 of them within the city limits. There are also other pantries located in Racine County, typically run by faith-based groups for their parishioners and their families.
How do I know if I qualify for assistance?
Your gross income for the entire household must be at or below 185% of the poverty level established by the Federal Government. Currently, for a single person, the gross income cannot exceed $1,799.00 per month. You may add $626.00 to that figure for each additional household member.
How do I go about getting assistance from a food pantry?
People in need of emergency food from a pantry who live in the City of Racine are encouraged to contact IMPACT 2-1-1 by dialing 211 on any phone. IMPACT 2-1-1 will carefully screen those calling for food for their eligibility to go to a food pantry. You will need picture identification and some form of identification for each member of your household. Proof of your current address in the form of a utility bill, telephone bill or a rent receipt is also needed. The pantry that you are referred to will vary, depending on the time and the day of the week, your location within the city and your access to transportation. Registration for individuals and families at pantries outside of the City of Racine are handled directly by the pantry in that area.
What assistance can I expect to receive?
You will receive an emergency allotment of food based on your household size that will last you for a minimum of (3) days.
How often can I receive assistance?
Emergency food assistance can be accessed once each month.
What do I do if I run out of food before I am eligible to receive my next allotment?
In the City of Racine, we are fortunate to have several groups that offer a community meal each day of the week at a different location. To take part in a community meal, people can simply go to one of the volunteer-run meal sites and be fed. There is no charge and no need to register. For more information on locations and times, dial 211.
What is FoodShare and how do I know if I am eligible?
FoodShare replaced Wisconsin's Food Stamp program in 2004. If you have access to a computer, ACCESS (Access to Eligibility Support Services for Health & Nutrition) is a web site that provides an easy way for people who live in Wisconsin to see if the might be able to get help through Wisconsin's health, nutrition and other programs. Visit www.access.wisconsin.gov. If you do not have access to a computer, you may apply for this service at the Workforce Development Center, located at 1717 Taylor Ave. in Racine OR 209 N. Main St. in Burlington. Applications are accepted between the hours of 7:30am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Racine County Food Bank