The goal of this study was to measure food insecurity among families with children in a low-income district of Lima, Peru and to identify the formal and informal food resources available to them that may affect their food security status. In June-July 2019, we collected data from 329 randomly selected households in Villa El Salvador (Lima, Peru). Following a mixed methods approach, we found that the percentage of households using food assistance programs (FAPs) increased with increasing levels of food insecurity, but two FAPs were heavily used by households regardless of food (in)security. The main reasons for using FAPs included financial need, already being signed up in the program, and believing that the food was of nutritional value; the main reasons for non-use were finding the program unnecessary, dislike or poor perceived quality of the food, and not being able to sign up for the program. Similarly, informal food resources, such as buying food on credit or receiving food from someone outside the household, were incrementally used with increased levels of food insecurity. Our study clarifies the relationship between level of household food insecurity and FAP use - FAPs more commonly used by food insecure households were used because of financial need, whereas the FAPs most commonly used by food secure households were those with automatic enrollment. At a programmatic level, our research highlights the need for making nutritious and preferred foods available in FAPs and standardizing the application of enrollment criteria.