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Nutrition Pograms and SNAP Benefits

Senior Center Meals
Senior Care Inc, and the Essex Senior Center provide meals twice a month to Essex Residents.  Meals are offered at 12 noon on the first and third Thursday of the month at the Essex Senior Center.  You must RSVP by Tuesday at 12 noon for a meal.  Voluntary annonymous donations of $2.00 for regular meals, and $3.00 for Travelling Chef meals are requested.

The Open Door Food Pantry provides a meal, at no charge, for Essex Residents on the 5th Thursday of the month.  Please RSVP by Tuesday at noon.

Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels are provided by Senior Care, Inc.  For more information or to sign up, please call 978-281-1750.

Mobile Market
The Essex Council on Aging and the Open Door Food Pantry have partnered to provide a bag of groceries to eligible residents on a monthly basis.  Open Door distributes food from 10AM - 11AM on the 2nd Friday of the Month at the Essex Senior Center.  This program is operated on a drop in basis, meaning there is no need to RSVP.

Out and About
The Essex Council on Aging coordinates a number of dining out opportunities, including our monthly breakfast at the Village Pancake House, and a regular group reservations at area Essex restaurants

SNAP Benefits
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps. It is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your food budget and buy healthy food.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers' markets and co-op food programs. SNAP benefits are given to you each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card. Paper coupons are no longer used. SNAP is a nutrition program. It is not a welfare cash assistance program (which is called TAFDC).

SNAP is a federal entitlement program. This means anyone who is eligible will receive benefits. You will not be taking away benefits from someone else if you apply.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees SNAP at the federal level. In Massachusetts, you apply for benefits through the state agency that administers the program, called the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

For more information about SNAP benefits, you may go to or contact Tess Leary who can provide you with more information.

Local Food Pantry
Open Door Food Pantry and Acord both provide support to Essex Residents who are in need.  For more information about Open Door, please contact them at 978-283-6776 or  For more information about Acord Food Pantry, please contact them at 978-468-7424 or

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