With concerns about going to stores, shortages, and changes in the way businesses function, getting groceries has become more complicated for many of us. Whether you are trying to avoid going inside larger stores, hoping to shop less frequently, using SNAP/EBT/HIP for the first time, or looking for specific types of food, we hope this new resource page will help!
You have options! As with most of our resources, this does not have everything, but if you think there is something important missing that is really useful, let us know!
Looking for free groceries?
There are several ways to get free groceries, including mobile food banks, Saturday bags at Beacon Field, pantries at Center for Self-reliance and Franklin County Survival Center, and The Brick House (new!). And did you know that many of the resources, like the Mobile Food Bank and Stone Soup Cafe are available to everyone? Options for free groceries and meals are listed here.
More on food-related benefits and programs
Check this out from Project Bread. Info on free food options, from free meals for kids and teens to SNAP, WIC, and extra options during COVID-19.
Statewide Public Health Rules for Grocery Stores
In March, Governor Baker issued a public health order related to grocery stores and pharmacies in Massachusetts. While the order is in effect, stores must:
– Have a separate shopping time for at least one hour per day reserved for customers over 60.
– Offer free hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for shoppers to use in the store for cleaning carts and baskets, etc.
– Procedures to ensure customers stay 6 feet apart while in line and while shopping.
– Close self-serve food stations such as salad bars and self-serve bulk food sections.
– Tell employees to stay home if they have symptoms that could be COVID-19.
– The public health order also includes a temporary ban on reusable bags. Stores are currently not allowed to charge for paper and plastic bags.
Big Grocery Stores – what to know
The bigger stores like Stop & Shop, Big Y, Market Basket, BJs, etc:
- Have the widest selection so you can get everything in one place.
- Accept WIC/SNAP/EBT, etc.
- Have special hours for elders and immunocompromised people
- May allow you to use an online service like Instacart to pay someone to shop for you.
Smaller grocery stores – what to know
Smaller stores like Food City, Fosters, Greenfield’s Market, Quabbin Harvest, McCusker’s:
- May have everything you need in one place
- Accept WIC/SNAP/EBT, etc.
- Are not as big, so it’s easier to get in and out, but it can also be harder to maintain a safe distance from others in the store
- Also have special hours for elders and immunocompromised people
- May have online ordering and curbside pickup options – check the individual store website.
Did you know that some restaurants are selling groceries now?
Here are a few in Turners Falls. If you have the time, it might be worth checking in with a couple of restaurants near you as well to see if they are selling groceries or supplies!
Great Falls Harvest
Black Cow Burger Bar
Looking for meals from restaurants?
Take out and delivery options from restaurants throughout Franklin County: This spreadsheet notes which places deliver.
Interested in local farm produce and other local options? Want to order online and have food delivered?
Farm stores, local co-ops, and the Greenfield Farmers Market are listed here. This spreadsheet notes which places deliver – as usual, some parts of Franklin County and the North Quabbin have more options than others.
If you have SNAP benefits, you also have HIP!
With the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), you can get additional fruits and vegetables for free at participating farmer’s markets and farm stores.