Career Development Assistance
Child Care and Child Support
Education and Training Benefits
Energy Assistance Programs
Food and Nutrition Assistance
Grants and Scholarships
Temporary Assistance (TANF)
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Food and Nutrtion Assistance Programs
One of the most basic human needs is access to adequate food and nutrition. There are several government assistance programs that provide supplemental nutrition for low-income individuals and families.
Infants and children also need good nutrition while they are growing up and there are grant programs that provide food for women, infants, and children (WIC), school lunches, and summer lunch programs.
Child and Adult Food Care Program (CAFCP) for Centers and Homes
These programs help improve the quality of both day care centers and day care homes. The CAFP assists in helping offset the cost of food for day care facilities to serve more nutritious meals. Day care facilities that participate in the program get reimbursed for the meals that they serve.
The CAFP is for centers and homes and food is not provided directly to individuals but you may become eligible for benefits if the facility participates in the program.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
The program helps improve the health of low-income pregnanet women and new mothers, infants and children under the age of six, and elderly people that are at least 60 years old. Nutritious commodity foods and basic nutrition education is provided at no cost. The program provides food and funds for the states to provide supplements to the diet for eligible participants.
Community Food and Nutrition Program
This food and nutrition program assists low-income communities in identifying potential sponsors of child nutrition programs. The program also helps coordinate private and public food assistance programs in areas of low-income neighborhoods.
Also, development of innovative programs at state and local levels to assist with the nutritional needs of low-income individuals, unemployed workers, children, and the elderly. To be eligible for this assistance program, your financial situation must be low-income.
Emergency Food Assistance Program
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) helps supplement the diets of low-income individuals including the homeless and the elderly. This assistance is in the form of emergency food and nutrition at no cost. Commodity foods are made available to state agencies that distribute the food to those in need. The number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the state dictates the amount of food that is provided.
The states provide the food to local agencies such as food banks that usually distribute the food to local food pantries and soup kitchens. These local facilities then serve the public directly or distribute the food directly to the households in need. To be eligible for this program, you must be low-income and meet other eligibilty requirements outlined by the state.
School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
Nutritionally balanced school breakfasts and school lunch meals are made available to school children. More than 78,000 schools offer low-cost or free breakfasts, and over 95,000 schools provide low-cost or free lunches. In addition, some schools provide snacks to children in after school programs.
Children are eligible to receive low-cost or free meals while they attend school if the income of their families meet the current income eligibility requirements. Children that qualify for TANF, SNAP, or are runaway, migrant, or homeless are automatically eligible for the school lunch and breakfast programs.
Special Milk Program
This milk program provides your children with free or low-cost half-pints of milk. The program is offered at camps, schools, kindergarten programs, and child care facilities.
Any child that participates in a school, half-day or pre-kindergarten program, or camp can get free milk. Children can also get free milk if their families' household incomes meet the current income eligibility requirements. Children that participate in programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are automatically eligible.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The much needed WIC program provides nutrition education, referrals to health care, and supplemental foods for free to low-income women that are pregnant, breast feeding, and postpartum. The program provides the same for infants and children up to the age of 5 years who need nutritional assistance.
To qualify for the WIC program, a health professional must determine that you or your child must be at nutritional risk. That means that you must have a diet or medical-based condition like anemia, overweight, underweight, difficulty with pregnancy, or the inability to meet dietary guidelines.
The WIC program has been successful in improving the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. This improved health decreased their medicaid costs for themselves and for their babies.
A person that participates in other benefit programs such as TANF, SNAP, or Medicaid, automatically meet eligibility requirements for WIC.
Summer Food Service Program
The Summer Food program provides nutritious snacks and meals to children that live in low-income areas during the summer months when they are out of school.
All children that are under the age of 18 who come to an approved food service facility are eligible to get free meals. Sites that serve adults that are enrolled in educational programs for individuals with disabilities may also qualify for the program. The food sites must be located in low-income communities or serve primarily children of low-income families.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or the food stamp program offers benefits to low-income individuals so they can buy food. The SNAP benefits can be used to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. The SNAP recipients use electronic (EBT) cards to make their purchases.
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