Free Groceries Through Government Programs

Sometimes a person has to ask for free food not because they want to but because they have no other choice in the matter. These people are in a financial position that makes it a necessity for them to obtain free food in order to feed themselves and their families. These people are forced to federal on Federal programs that are in place. These programs will provide them with free food as well as assistance with essentials for their families survival.

The first of the is called the WIC program while the other is the food stamp program. The WIC program, which stands for Women Infants and Children, was created in 1972 to ensure that women while, pregnant can have access to the types of food that their child will need to develop properly before birth. After the baby is born, the mother can stay in the program to have access to items like formula and baby food in order to keep the baby fed properly during the critical first couple of years. In addition, the program also helps to ensure that the child will receive proper nutrition while growing up as the WIC system is designed to grow with the child.

A woman must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for the WIC program. These requirements vary from state to state and are particularly strict so as to ensure that only the women who need it are provided with the limited resources available. Many states have begun using a EBT card for these benefits instead of the paper voucher system that all states used in the past.

Traditionally, these vouchers would state the amount of each item that were able to buy and the maximum price allowed for the items, each unit. They also would sometimes state which brands were allowed as well as the types of items the mothers were allowed to get. This method was time consuming for retailers leading to many retailers not accepting the programs benefits. Other problems were also associated with this paper based system including forged vouchers, a lack of voucher understanding on the part of the retailers employees, and stolen vouchers.

The other common assistance that a person is may apply for is the Federal Food Stamp program. Funded and regulated by the federal department of health and human services in conjunction with the FDA, the program is administered and resources allotted and distributed to clients by the individual states. The states must adhere to the federal requirements and mandates but may set their own applicant requirements and standards locally. As such, the requirements for an applicant to become a client can sometimes vary broadly by state. This program, due to a massive revamp the program is now referred to as the SNAP program, the name stands for the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program.

This revamp occurred in 2008 and since then all references to the word stamp or coupon have been replaced with card or EBT instead. The program is designed to help people who do not qualify for the WIC program to provide food for their family. In June of last year it was estimated that 35 million people are now on the SNAP program, this number is the highest amount that has been rolled out since the original version of the program began being implemented in the summer of 1962. The SNAP program allows people Who are in the category of low income, to purchase food for their family at any retailer who accepts credit or debit cards. The amount of your benefits is dependent upon the number of members in your household as well as the age of the people living here and the household gross income.

Many times a person can get free groceries this way, the only things that are not covered are tobacco, alcohol, non-food items and other similar items. The household needs, however, can sometimes be provided for with other programs such as TANF (temporary assistance to needy families) or SHAPE (Supplemental Household Assistance Program for Expenses). TANF is a temporary solution while SHAPE is a long-term program. Another option called SHAFT (Supplemental Household Assistance for Financial Emergencies.) Can be used to cover other things such as utility bills, emergency car repairs to go back and forth to work, and other one time unexpected expenses if you are already in a SHAPE or SNAP Program.

These are not easy times, but there are solutions to finding free groceries .

Source by Bill D King

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