Newsletter

Social Service Programs

There are many government programs aimed at helping mothers and families who are in need of financial assistance. There are times when you may need assistance for the health of you and your family. We will provide some information on some of these beneficial programs.

WIC

WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. They provide nutritional food, counseling, and referrals to health and social services at no charge. Participants in the WIC program include low income pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding women, infants and children up to 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC is available in all 50 states and serves approximately 7. 6 million qualified participants.

Applicants must meet specific income guidelines, a State residency requirement, and individually determined to be at “nutrition risk” by a health professional.

WIC participants receive checks or vouchers to buy specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets. Some states have specific WIC warehouses to pick up the food or others may deliver the food to the home monthly. WIC provides different food packages for certain categories of participants.

Food Stamps

The Food Stamp Program is another program that provides nutritious food to those with little or no income. Food stamp benefits come on a plastic card that is used like a check card at your grocery store. Food stamps can be used to purchase items such as; foods like breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish, and poultry; and dairy products. Benefits can also be used to purchase seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat. You cannot use food stamps to buy beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco; nonfood items such as pet food, soaps, paper products; vitamins and medicines. Deli foods are also not allowed through food stamps.

In order to qualify for food stamps you need to meet eligibility requirements and provide certain information about your household circumstances. You will need to provide proof for verification. Qualifications are based on your Net monthly income. This is the amount you have left after childcare, shelter costs, and a few other expenses are deducted. There are many requirements specific to each state. (The contact information at the end of this article will assist you in any further inquiries.)

Child Support

Child Support is money that one parent pays the other parent who is supporting the child. The support helps pay for the expenses that come with raising a child. Child support is a court order resulting from divorce, paternity suits, order of protection, or a child custody action. You can receive child support if: you are the parent of minor child or have court-ordered custody of a minor child; the child lives in your household, the child is financially dependent on you; you are responsible for a child where both parents for the child are absent.

Child support can help provide you with these services: locate noncustodial parents; paternity establishment; establish and enforce court orders for child support and medical support; review and modify court orders for child support; enforce alimony if child support is also being collected; work with other states to enforce support when a parent doesn’t live in your state; and payment collection and processing.

When it comes to the health and the welfare of you and your child it is important to use all the resources necessary to provide for adequate nutrition. Explore your local branches for more information and qualifications.

Resources:

WIC
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

Food Stamp
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/

Contains links and information to contact local branches

Child Support Assistance
Child Support Network
www.childsupport.com
1-800-398-0500
Assists in finding missing parents and collecting payments

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