Stories from the Hotline: Navigating Life After Prison

Robb recently called the National Hunger Hotline from Houston, Texas. He had spent time in prison for drug possession and had just been released. He was not eligible for many government nutrition programs, so the Hotline advocate gave him phone numbers for several food pantries in the Houston area to address his immediate needs. Robb talked about having difficulty navigating his new life, so the advocate also gave him numbers to several agencies to assist him with housing, as well as information for the National Helping Individuals with Criminal Records Re-enter through Employment Network (HIRE). The goal of the National HIRE Network is to increase the quality and quantity of job opportunities available to people with criminal records, by changing public policies, employment practices and public opinion.

The National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3 HUNGRY and 1-877-8 HAMBRE  (1-866-348-6479 and 1-877-842-6273) refers people in need of emergency food assistance to food pantries, government programs, and model grassroots organizations that work to improve access to healthy, nutritious food, and build self-reliance. Help is available on Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm EST. Hablamos español. The Hotline is funded in part by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

This article originally appeared in our monthly e-newsletter, the Clearinghouse Connection, which facilitates the exchange of information, resources and ideas among emergency food providers. To subscribe, email [email protected].

Patricia Rojas