Important Government Benefit Programs

If you’re struggling for basic necessities like food and shelter, you’re not alone.

Millions of Americans rely on USDA’s assistance programs for help.

These programs are some of the most popular ways people of all backgrounds get nutritious food and a place to stay. Keep reading below to get more information about the different programs available.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The CACFP is a federally operated program that supplies child care centers, daycare homes, and adult daycare centers with meals and snacks.

Young adults under the age of 25 that are currently homeless can now receive meals at emergency shelters as part of the CACFP. Check out the link to learn more about this program and see if you’re eligible.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

In an effort to help those most in need of fresh and nutritious food, the USDA has boxes of pre-packed and fresh produce available. The boxes usually contain 3 pounds of fruit, 3 pounds of vegetables, with at least 2 items being locally grown. The shelf life of each box is typically 7-10 days, when refrigerated. Go to TEFAP to get more information, including a program fact sheet.

American Rescue Plan Funding

The USDA is increasing food benefits to low-income seniors as part of their American Rescue Plan Funding. With an estimate of $37 million in additional funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), people 60 years old and up will be able to get more access to healthy foods. Visit American Rescue Plan Act to get more information on the new benefits available under this act.

SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

People eligible for this program may see a temporary increase in their benefits, with $491 million in additional funding. Those who are eligible under this program receive cash-value vouchers to buy fruits and vegetables.

Normally the cash-value vouchers are $9 per child and $11 for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. However, with the additional funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act, people can temporarily receive up to $35 per child and adult. To see more information on each individual state’s increases, go to State List of Increases for WIC.

Final Word

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has 15 nutrition assistance programs to help people of all backgrounds: children, low income individuals, and families. Now is a good time to research these programs because additional funding has been provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So do some research by going to the links posted in this article, and also visit FNS USDA Website for a general overview of these important government programs.