Food Banks in Lancaster, PA: 6 Common Questions Answered

The reality for many individuals and families in Lancaster, PA is having to choose between paying rent or having food on the table. There are several resources for community members in need – including food banks, community kitchens and local government programs. 

Water Street’s Outreach Center is one of the local food banks in Lancaster, PA where you can get help. Before accessing services, we have answered some of the more common and frequently asked questions to make the process easier to navigate. 

When are food banks in Lancaster open? 

Water Street’s Outreach Center is open Tuesdays from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon, and on Fridays, from 10 am to noon. 

The Food Hub is open Monday-Friday from 9:45 am to 11:45 am. 

Crispus Attucks Food Pantry is open every Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

We post our hours online, as do many other food banks in Lancaster, PA and beyond. Make sure to check when the food bank you are going to visit is open. 

Do I need an ID to access services? 

At our food bank, you need to bring a photo ID to verify, except for Fridays. On Fridays from 10 am to noon, anyone can come regardless of whether they choose to bring an ID or not. 

Please keep in mind that every food bank is different, and we recommend that you check out the guidelines for the food bank you plan on visiting.

How often can I receive food? 

At Water Street’s food bank, you can receive food two times per week; Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

When you come, you will be greeted by our team of staff and volunteers. If you arrive when we open, please be prepared to wait in line for about 20 to 30 minutes, as we usually experience a high volume of community members visiting our food bank. 

What types of food can I get? 

We are often blessed by local businesses and community members who frequently donate food to Water Street Mission. This allows us to regularly offer many different types of foods; from fresh produce and dairy products to bread and baked goods, meats and non-perishable items.  

Are food banks handicap accessible? 

Our food bank is handicap accessible. We have a small ramp to the right side of our door. If you need assistance, you can knock on the door or have someone come get us and we’d be happy to help you receive your food. 

How can I donate to food banks in Lancaster? 

We receive requests from many individuals as well as local businesses who are looking to donate food to Water Street’s Outreach Center. 

You are welcome to drop off food by our dock anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our landing dock is located at 210 Prince Street. 

For a campus map as well as a list of requested food items, head over to our food donations page

For additional online resources, feel free to check out Hunger Free Lancaster County, a community coalition of 40 nonprofit, private, faith-based, government and grassroots organizations that have been working together since 2016 to ensure sustainable access to three meals per day for everyone who lives in Lancaster.