Food And Nutrition Programs: Government Assistance Part I

This is the first of the series of Government Assistance articles. From my previous post, I was once in the low income demographics, I mentioned that there are still a lot of people that are not aware of the valuable financial help from the government. Will this post reach them? I’m not sure. They probably don’t have computer or internet connection as well. But for those who do, may this information help them to get the assistance that they’re eligible.

Back in the days when I was still working at McDonald’s, we used to throw away food that had expired past their holding times. One of my crew came up to me and told me “With all the food the we’re throwing away, we could have feed a lot of homeless or hungry people.” He’s got a good point but the problem with those food was that those won’t be edible by the time those reach the homeless.

The government has a lot of program for the low income families. Food and nutrition assistance programs increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has various food and nutrition programs namely:

Food Stamp Program.

This program serves as the first line of defense against hunger by assisting low income households purchase nutritious food. The families participating in this program are registered and offered an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, which works like a debit (atm) cards. Food stamp recipients spend their benefits to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores.

National School Lunch Program.

Available to low income family kids who are attending schools. With this program, the food stamp recipient doesn’t have to use their food stamps in order to feed their kids while at school. In addition, it provides nutritious lunches and the opportunity to practice skills learned in classroom nutrition education. Lastly, the program offers afterschool snacks in sites that meet eligibility requirements.

 

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

This program is the single largest Federal resource available for local sponsors who want to combine a feeding program with a summer activity program. When school is on, children can take advantage of the National School Lunch Program. However, what happens when school is over. Those programs end when school ends. Children in your community do not need to go hungry this summer. The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program helps fill the hunger gap.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

This program plays an integral role in enhancing the quality of day care for children and elderly adults by making care more affordable for many low-income families. Through CACFP, 2.9 million children and 86,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of their day care.

Women, Infants And Children (WIC).

This program is a special supplemental food program for pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and young children. In addition, the program provides coupons for food as well as nutritious education classes and counseling. The program is normally administered by the State and coordinated by each County. Women with infants and young children should go to the nearest office in their county. You can also find additional information by going into this website: Food And Nutrition Service.

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