Food Assistance ProgramsYou’re not alone if you’re feeling the pinch of grocery costs. Food prices have increased by 5% from March 2022 to March 2023. It’s understandable if you’ve had to go over budget to keep your fridge stocked. But what if going over budget isn’t an option because you don’t have extra income? That’s where nutrition programs come in. These programs are designed to help families like yours afford healthy food. If you’re struggling to afford food, several programs can help. Consider exploring one or more of the following options:
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Special Milk Program (SMP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
- Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
Types of Food Covered by SNAPJust a reminder: if you receive SNAP benefits, you can only use them to buy specific types of food. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a list of approved items you can purchase with your EBT card:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Bread and cereals
- Canned goods
CSFP QualificationsIf you’re looking to qualify for CSFP, there are a few criteria you’ll need to meet. First and foremost, this program is specifically designed for elderly individuals, so you must be at least 60 years old. Additionally, you’ll need to fall within specific income guidelines determined by your state or local agency. Lastly, you’ll need to live in an area where CSFP operates. If you want to learn more about this program, contact the CSFP state agency closest to you. They’ll be able to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.
Where Do I Apply for Food Assistance?Figuring out how to apply for food assistance can be confusing. We’ve outlined a few resources to help you find the right program and get started.
- Benefits.gov is a great resource when it comes to applying for benefits from the federal government, including SNAP and WIC programs.
- The USDA also has an online resource center where you can search for food assistance programs in your area.
- Your state or local Department of Health and Human Services is another excellent source of information. It can point you in the right direction if you need help navigating the application process.