Many different organizations offer free grocery delivery for seniors, especially those that are low income or homebound. If you need help getting your groceries delivered for free, then the agencies in this list should be able to help you!
In this article, we will review 10 ways that seniors can get free grocery delivery. We’ll discuss what you need to do to be eligible for that service and how to apply.
There are several government programs that can assist seniors with free grocery delivery. Although these programs are available nationwide, they often vary significantly at the local level. You will need to confirm with your local organization to make sure these services are available in your area.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
If you receive SNAP (also known as food stamps), there are a few ways that you may be able to get free grocery delivery for seniors.
First, you can have someone you know and trust shop on your behalf with your EBT benefits and bring your groceries back home to you. The SNAP rules allow you to select someone to shop on your behalf. Your caseworker can even add this person to your account as an authorized shopper so that they have official permission to use your EBT card.
Second, you can use the apps and online resources listed below to order groceries with your SNAP card. In the section below, we will elaborate on how to get free grocery delivery for seniors through those services.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that brings healthy meals to older Americans. The meals are either free or very low-cost, depending on your eligibility and the requirements of your local program. The organization has pledged that “no senior will be denied a meal because of an inability to pay.”
Although this program is best known for delivering prepared meals, they can also provide additional services. About 43% of Meals on Wheels locations provide pet assistance and around 34% offer home repair or modification services. This program may be able to provide additional services, like free transportation or free grocery delivery, for seniors that live in eligible areas.
In order to be eligible for Meals on Wheels, you will need to be at least 60 years old, disabled, homebound, and have nobody available to help you with your meal preparation. You must also live within the delivery area of your local organization.
In order to apply, you will need to find your local provider. You can enter your zip code on the official Meals on Wheels site to find the provider near you.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides prepackaged boxes of food for seniors. The monthly boxes contain nutritious foods and healthy recipes. The government delivers these boxes to distribution agencies, and some distribution agencies may deliver them directly to your home if you are disabled or homebound.
In order to be eligible for this program, you need to be a low income senior who is at least 60 years old. You also need to have an income that is at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level.
In order to apply, you will need to contact your State Distributing Agency. You can find which department handles CSFP in your area by searching this list from the USDA.
Area Agency on Aging
The US Administration on Aging has a helpline called the Eldercare Locator, which helps seniors around the United States connect with resources that can help. No matter where you are located in the United States, you can call them at 800-677-1116 to find ways to get free grocery delivery for seniors in your area.
You can also ask your local Area Agency on Aging if there are any additional resources. These organizations are designed by each state. They help seniors and people with disabilities find resources that they may qualify for. They also provide supportive services that help you live safe, healthy, and independently as long as possible.
Aside from government programs, there are many community resources that can help you get free grocery delivery for seniors as well. These programs may be more reliable and widely available than some of the more formal programs.
Many food banks offer grocery delivery for homebound seniors and people with disabilities who cannot make it to the food bank to pick up their food. This has helped provide food security to many people nationwide who otherwise would not be able to access these critical community resources.
According to food bank coordinator Feeding America, food banks have developed mobile food pantries and delivery services to ensure that everyone has access to the food they need.
In fact, there’s even a virtual food bank at Full Cart that also offers free grocery delivery for seniors. This site, managed by the nonprofit US Hunger, provides free food delivery by shipping food directly to you. This organization serves the contiguous 48 states but cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or any US territories.
DoorDash has also started partnering with food banks to provide free grocery delivery for those who need it. Through Project DASH, the company provides food bank delivery services in more than a dozen cities around the United States.
Local Charities & Nonprofits
Many churches, charities, and other nonprofits can help provide free grocery delivery for seniors. As an active member of my own Church community, I have personally delivered groceries for homebound seniors in my area through my local organization.
Calling the United Way’s 211 helpline is a great way to find a local nonprofit in your area that can provide this service. However, they may not know about every option that is available.
You can also ask friends, family members, and online communities for referrals to organizations that provide this service in your area. They often aren’t well advertised but they do exist. If all else fails, you can try reaching out to a local church or charity in your area to ask.
Many senior centers provide transportation assistance and other supportive services to local seniors who need help. One of the services that they may be able to provide is free grocery delivery for seniors.
However, this is a service that will vary by location. You can reach out to your nearest senior center to see what services they provide. You might be surprised by all the different ways they can help you!
Of course, when you order groceries online, you can also have them delivered straight to your home. Many of these apps and services have delivery fees that can be costly, but there are some ways that you can get those fees waived or discounted.
Did you know that you can buy food on Amazon? They even accept EBT for certain eligible food purchases!
If you order at least $25 in qualifying items at a time, your shipping will automatically be free. However, in order to be eligible, you will need to make sure that your items are marked as shipping from Amazon and not a third-party seller. When you get free shipping this way, your order will arrive in 5-8 days.
If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can also get free shipping on orders even if you don’t spend $25 at a time. However, this does require a monthly subscription fee. If you have SNAP, SSI, or other qualifying benefits, then you can save about 50% off on Amazon Access!
Instacart is a popular grocery delivery app. Using the app, you can shop from local grocers and get your items delivered same-day. I’ve used Instacart quite a bit and my orders typically arrive within two hours.
They have a special Senior Support Service for customers who are at least 60 years old. You can reach out to them at 844-981-3433 for help setting up your account, placing orders, or managing your orders.
There are several ways that you can get free delivery through Instacart. New customers typically receive free grocery delivery on their first order. You can also use coupon codes and take advantage of limited-time promotions that are occasionally available. If you use this service often, you can also sign up for Instacart+ to get unlimited free grocery delivery on orders of $35 or more.
However, when you order through Instacart, your order will be delivered by a gig worker who relies on tips. It is important to make sure that you tip your delivery person even if you don’t have to pay the delivery fees.
There are many people on the Nextdoor app that may be willing to help you! This is a community-based social media network that connects people who live in the same neighborhood.
You can sign up for an account with Nextdoor and post a request asking for assistance. A helpful neighbor may be willing to assist you!
Although you can find local community groups on Facebook, they tend to be a little riskier in my experience. It seems that Facebook has more scammers than Nextdoor does.
However, if you need help and none of the other options for free grocery delivery are able to help you out, you may be able to find assistance by asking for help in your community Facebook Group.
There are many different ways that you can get free grocery delivery for seniors! In this article, we reviewed the government programs, community resources, and online solutions that can help you get groceries delivered to your door for free. From the Area Agency on Aging to the Nextdoor app, there should be something in this article that can help you.