Raising a family can be very expensive. Parents need to provide nutritious food, a safe place to live, access to medical care and a good education for their children. Making sure that any children you have get all they can need can sometimes be difficult. Even the most resourceful parents may find it hard to meet their children’s basic needs. If your family is struggling financially, there are programs out there in the private and public sector that will help you meet your family’s needs.
Moms and dads who are finding it hard to meet their family’s grocery bills can turn to food banks to help make sure their children are getting their daily caloric requirements. Food banks are places where donated goods are collected and distributed. A food bank may allow people to choose from a variety of donated items or create a package of items a family member can pick up. Some food banks allow people to get access to food items as often as they want. Other food banks only allow people to come to the food bank during a certain specific time frame such as once every three months.
Another form of food aid is food stamps. The food stamp program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. Participants are given a card they can use at selected stores to purchase groceries without cost. Eligibility is based on family size and income. If you have more children, you may be eligible for more food money each month. The program places restrictions on what you can buy with the food stamps. Certain items, such as personal hygiene supplies, may not be covered.
A family that meets certain income guidelines may qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a program designed to provide access to medical care for low income earners and their families. You can see a doctor, if the doctor accepts Medicaid. Even if you personally earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, your children can still qualify for medical assistance via CHIP or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Income requirements vary by state and typically include prescription coverage as well as access to doctors and hospitalization coverage.
Families may qualify for subsidized housing. A subsidy usually takes two forms: direct aid and rental assistance. Families earning under a certain income may qualify for an apartment in a public housing complex. Rent is tied to income in public housing and goes up as you earn more money. Another form of rental assistance is Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing is via a voucher system designed to provide people access to an apartment or house in a private market. Renters pay a portion of their income and the government pays the rest.
Higher Education Assistance
If you have a child who wants to attend college or you yourself want to attend a college or training program, you may qualify for financial assistance that can help you pay for tuition. Stafford loans are loans that are subsidized by the federal government and carry low interest rates. Pell grants are direct grants from the government for needy families and need not be paid back.