What to Know: Food Assistance in Adams County

Emergency SNAP benefits approved by Congress in response to the Covid-19 pandemic ended February 2023. Here's what to know about how to supplement tight food budgets.

What to Know: Food Assistance in Adams County
Photo by Zoe Schaeffer / Unsplash

In March 2020, Congress enacted temporary emergency assistance to the federal food assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as part of the government's response to the economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant an additional increase of at least $95, often more, to SNAP beneficiaries while the country remained in a declared state of emergency.

The additional benefits kept an estimated 4.2 million people above the poverty line by the end of 2021, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The CBPP provides a comprehensive overview of the changes and their effects in a paper published February 6, 2023.)

Congress ended the emergency benefits as part of its budget for 2023, anticipating the end of the pandemic emergency in May as declared by President Biden. The last of the emergency payments were distributed in February.

SNAP recipients now receive at least $95 fewer in their monthly payments, with some households seeing a reduction of $250 or more. In addition, some people temporarily eligible for SNAP benefits, like college students with a certain income level, will lose their eligibility.

For those feeling the pinch on food budgets, especially with inflation’s effect on rising food prices, there are options in Adams County to receive additional food assistance.


The Adams County Food Policy Council

The food policy council’s website provides two guides to resources for in-person food assistance that does not require application to a program:

  • A guide to local food pantries and soup kitchens
  • An emergency food resources map that shows locations in Adams County with address, phone numbers and operating hours

The website also lists a series of community food initiatives that provide free food assistance or enhance SNAP benefits. These include:

  • Healthy Options – a program for families who do not qualify for SNAP benefits but could still benefit from food assistance
  • Fruit & Vegetable Bucks – a program that subsidizes SNAP benefits by offering a 50% discount on fruit and vegetables (up to $25) from October through May at participating Kennie's Markets locations‌‌

The ACFPC can be contacted by phone at 717-337-6490 or by email at [email protected]

South Central Community Action Programs

The South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) is another community group focused on providing food assistance as part of its wraparound services for low income families in Franklin and Adams Counties. Its website lists two specific programs focused on alleviating food security outside of federal assistance programs.

  • The Gleaning Project –  a nonprofit project that collects unsold and unwanted produce from local farms to distribute to local food assistance operations; hosts a seasonal free produce stand at SCCAP’s Adams County headquarters at 153 N. Stratton Street in Gettysburg
  • Directory of Local Food Pantries – a list of food pantries in Adams and Frankling Counties operated by SCCAP or supported by SCCAP

SCCAP can be contacted by phone at 717-334-7634 or by email at [email protected]

Student-Based Food Assistance

Two programs organized by area churches and private organizations offer food assistance to public school students in Adams County.

  • John's Meals – provides eligible students and their siblings with a backpack of food to take home over the weekend; specifically supports students at Biglerville Elementary School and Upper Adams Intermediate School

    John's Meals is sponsored by Upper Adams Christians Together. It can be contacted by phone at 717-677-8921.

  • Ruth's Harvest – provides eligible students in the Gettysburg Area School District with backpacks of healthy food to take home over the weekend

    Ruth's Harvest can be contacted by phone at 717-430-0567.