Google adds food bank information to search and maps
Google has launched a new initiative to expand information about food banks and pantries in search results and maps. The company adds existing coverage with data from two original nonprofit partners: WhyHunger and Hunger Free America, and added information to ensure people seeking food assistance can find what they need. These changes are being made right in Google Maps so food banks, pantries and soup kitchens can focus on what matters most – bringing food to people.
Google has noticed from search trends that searches for food banks and pantries increase especially in November.
Some food banks and pantries do not yet have websites or phone numbers available on Google. So, over the past two months, the company said it has made an effort to update this information in search and maps, making more than 85,000 calls to check local food banks and pantries. . These efforts will continue over the holidays.
Google has also developed new Google business profile features specifically for food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens. They can now provide details on their profile, for example if an appointment is required, if there are eligibility requirements to receive food and what languages are spoken. They can also add information about their services, for example if ready meals are available or if grocery delivery is an option. In addition, pantries can specify whether they are accepting new volunteers or soliciting food or monetary donations.
In addition to working with pantries, Google is now helping people use search to find out how to get and use food aid benefits.
Federal programs like the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) feed more than 40 million Americans each year. Google says it has heard from users that information on these programs is often difficult to find, especially for first-time users. Today, if you google for ‘SNAP benefits’ or the name of your local SNAP program, you will find direct links to each state’s eligibility guidelines and application process, including contact details for local agencies. food aid.
Once approved, many people use electronic benefit transfer cards (also known as EBTs) to pay for their groceries. Now, if you are looking for “grocery stores that accept EBT,” you can easily find USDA approved stores that accept this payment method, saving you time and avoiding confusion.