What Kind of Free Government Programs Are Available for Underprivileged Children?


Quick Answer

Federally funded programs targeted at underprivileged children include the Women, Infants and Children program, the Child and Adult Care Food program and the National School Lunch program, states Nutrition.gov. Other programs include Head Start and the Children's Health Insurance Program, notes WelcometoUSA.gov.

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Full Answer

The Children's Health Insurance Program furnishes medical covers for children meeting particular criteria, explains WelcometoUSA.gov. To qualify, children must be 19 years old or younger and must come from families meeting certain income requirements. Depending on the state of residence, other criteria may be used to determine eligibility. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 allows states to extend CHIP coverage to children of public employees, a provision that did not exist previously. CHIP is administered either through Medicaid or via individual programs.

The special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children is aimed at infants and children not exceeding 5 years of age, explains the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program avails federal grants to states for nutrition education, health care referrals and supplemental food. The child nutrition component of the program oversees the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. These programs work by reimbursing participating organizations such as schools and child care centers for providing meals for eligible children.

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