Finding Food with Little to No Money

SNAP (EBT) / Food Stamp Benefits. Eligibility for these benefits is based on a monthly income. Many students attending college at least half time don’t qualify for these benefits, but there are exemptions that apply to many non-traditional and low-income students. One of these exemptions includes being eligible for work study here at Cornish. Here’s a good resource if you have more questions specifically related to being a student and trying to get these benefits. To learn more and to apply, visit the DSHS official website. (This process can take a little while, so if you’re looking for something immediate, check out some of the options below – but to try and apply to help yourself in the future!)
Best foods to buy. When you’re tight on money and looking for the best things to get for cheap, use your best judgement. But here are some recommends: potatoes, lentils, eggs, produce, rice, oatmeal, peanut butter, beans, protein bars. Here’s a free ebook by Leanne Brown about how to Eat Well on $4/Day which includes simple but tasty recipes, as well as a resource for eating from your pantry from The Organic Prepper.
Food Banks. << Click the link to see the which food bank is closest to you. You may end up having to wait in line for a couple of hours, but food banks are free and made specifically for people who are having a hard time paying for food. Check out for food banks and some other free food resources.
Asking. If it comes down to it, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Places to do this would be restaurants, farmers markets, neighborhood supermarkets, or community gardens. This won’t work every time, but even if it works once – it’s free food. Be honest, offer bartering if it seems like an option, be understanding if the answer is no.

Seed Swaps. If you’re interested in growing your own food, there are local events where people swap seeds! You don’t have to bring seeds to get them.