Everyone has been in a not-so-great situation at some point. You should know where to go in a tight situation. There are a lot of opportunities out there and it is all thanks to the federal government. One of these opportunities could be the perfect solution to your current problem. Because of these federal assistance opportunities, eligible recipients can focus on other aspects of their lives and improve their livelihood.
Government Programs Available That Can Help You Out
There is a wide range of different programs to consider. The federal government understands that there are many challenges in life that people go through. Some of these programs that can help you include:
- Nutrition Assistance
- Financial Support
- Housing Aid
There are different choices out there that can help people with getting food for themselves and their households. These choices include:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a major nutrition assistance program that the federal government offers. Most people refer to SNAP as food stamps. The support comes in an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card where money will be added each month. The recipient can buy groceries at any store that participates in the program. Qualifying groceries include:
- Chicken, fish, and meat
- Dairy products
- Fruits and vegetables
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants that can help make food for the family to eat
However, households will not be able to use SNAP benefits to purchase:
- Alcoholic drinks (such as beer, wine, liquor, etc.)
- Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco products
- Hot meals during the point of sale
- Live animals (with certain exceptions)
- Non-food products
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
This program provides emergency food assistance free of charge to qualifying recipients. Qualifying recipients include those that have a low-income and senior citizens. How this program works is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will buy a wide range of USDA Foods through TEFAP. These foods are nutritional and high quality! The foods will then be offered to state distributing entities. How much food offered to each state by the USDA is defined by the number of unemployed people as well as those with a qualifying income. After that, states distribute the food to emergency food locations such as soup kitchens, shelters, pantries, and food banks. Additionally, states donate food to other forms of local agencies, such as community action agencies, which supply food to those who need it.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
The Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP, is an amazing program that supports child care providers by distributing nutritious meals and snacks to the kids in their care. More than 1 in 5 kids in the United States currently stay in a family that suffers from food insecurity. CACFP serves an important purpose in enhancing the quality of care in communities across the United States.
Some people can gain from this support option like preschool kids in daycare and childcare facilities. They can receive meals from this program at a discounted price. Sometimes, they can get meals for free! Also, it provides meals that are free of charge to eligible kids that are homeless and currently staying in emergency shelters.
Furthermore, the “At-Risk” Afterschool Care Program of the CACFP offers snacks that are free of charge to needy children in afterschool educational activities. Community agencies that could manage this program could include schools, local parks, churches, and other community organizations. These programs need to be in areas where at least 50% of kids are eligible for a discounted price or free meals.
When you imagine financial support, you might not know that there are government programs out there that particularly help with supporting the income of people who need it. Two programs that you can consider include:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSI program offers a payment per month to eligible candidates that have both limited income and resources. This could include people who have disabilities or senior citizens. SSI provides these payments to support people to buy basic needs like groceries, housing, clothes, and more. How much you get from SSI differs based on your current situation and taxable income. If you are staying in a state that boosts the federal SSI funds, then you might get more money. To qualify for the SSI program, you should be:
- At least the age of 65, be blind, or have a disability.
- Do not have enough income and resources.
- Be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident of the United States.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The TANF program is created to support eligible households that have kids. The aim of this program is to offer help for households to be able to achieve self-sufficiency at an economic level. When states get TANF payments from the federal government, they are allowed to manage their TANF program. This means that each state has its own set of requirements, guidelines, and more. The TANF program can support qualifying households in different ways like financial assistance, employment preparation services, and more.
People who need housing aid might have a wide range of different housing needs. Low-income households and people can apply for housing support through several types of federal assistance options, which include:
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a great opportunity to support families with affordable rent. Section 8 is beneficial because it can give qualifying low-income households the chance to get a rental unit in the private market. The recipient has the right to pick where they want to live, but the property needs to meet the conditions of the local public housing authority (PHA). Additionally, the landlord needs to allow these vouchers as a type of payment. Usually, your family’s income needs to be 50% or lower than your area’s median income (AMI) to qualify for this type of housing support.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) decreases the cost of energy for low-income families. They do this through the renovations of homes to become more energy efficient while also making homes safer.
With DOE funds, the WAP offers weatherization services to about 35,000 households per year. From a national study of the WAP, these families save approximately $372 or more each year because of weatherization renovations and upgrades.
Supporting low-income individuals has become a main focus of the federal government. The government prioritizes funding a wide range of assistance programs. Any challenge you might go through could have a federally-funded assistance program that can help you out of it.
However, you need to remember that states are responsible for managing these programs, even though the federal government funds them. Since each state is responsible for the administration of these programs, they have its own set of rules and conditions. You need to get in touch with your local agency to get specific information about the program you are interested in. Your local agency will vary based on the program of your choice!