The Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is now accepting applications from vulnerable households for its redesigned food assistance programs.

The COVID-19 Food Assistance Program and the Grocery Bag Program (formerly known as Pantry) have now been merged into one program entitled Food Assistance Program; therefore, clients on any of these should apply for the new Food Assistance Program.

The target population is the very needy and most vulnerable households in the country. Priority will be given to the following:

1. Households where no one is working
2. Households which are not receiving assistance through BOOST or BCCAT
3. Households which are not receiving a pension
4. Single-parent families
5. Families with children, elderly and differently abled individuals

Applicants are asked to visit the Ministry’s website at to register. Please have your Social Security Card when registering. If you do not have access to the internet, you can call the Ministry’s Social Assistance Program hotlines for assistance at 0-800-MHD-HELP (0-800-643-4357) for Digi customers or 0-800-CALL-MHD (0-800-2255-643) for SMART customers during normal working hours (Monday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Applications will be accepted from Wednesday, January 6, 2021 to Monday, January 18, 2021. These applications will be evaluated for eligibility by assessment teams at the Ministry and the first set of approved beneficiaries will be receiving food assistance the week ending January 22, 2021.