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Food and Nutrition Support

People with Long COVID may be unable to continue to work and earn money, putting them at risk of being unable to afford food or getting enough nutrition for themselves and their families. If you or your immediate family members need help purchasing food, there are several federal programs that can help you put nutritious food on your family’s table. Some of the resources in this section may also support individuals, their families and caregivers who are experiencing the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as mental health and substance use challenges and bereavement. Individuals who may be experiencing food insecurity due to the loss of loved one may also find assistance through these federal supports and services. This section covers three topics

  • Child and Family Nutrition Programs
  • Food Distribution Programs
  • Nutrition Program for Seniors.

If you are found ineligible for food assistance programs like SNAP, or if your SNAP benefits are being reduced or discontinued, you may want to review the Legal Assistance section of the Know Your Rights section.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Q. Concerned about being able to feed your family?

A. Find emergency food distribution programs in your area Contact Map | Food and Nutrition Service (usda.gov).


Q. Wondering if you are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which can help you purchase healthy foods for your family?

A. Find your local SNAP office and talk to them about whether you are eligible SNAP State Directory of Resources | Food and Nutrition Service (usda.gov)

Child and Family Nutrition Programs

National School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for women with lower incomes, pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum individuals, and to infants and children up to age five years who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of families with low incomes so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Most SNAP eligibility rules apply to all households, but there are some special rules for households with members who are older or have a disability, including those that experience disability due to Long COVID. For people with disabilities or older adults, allowable medical costs that are more than $35 a month may be deducted unless an insurance company or someone who is not a household member pays for them.

Food Distribution Programs

Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of Americans with low incomes by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.

Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) provides USDA Foods to income - eligible households living on Indian reservations and to Native American households residing in designated areas near reservations or in Oklahoma. The program supplements and expands the ongoing work of local nonprofit and governmental social service organizations to provide shelter, food, and supportive services to individuals and families who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing hunger and homelessness.

Nutrition Program for Older Adults

Senior Nutrition Program

Older adults (age 60 and older) and in some cases, their caregivers, spouses and persons with disabilities may be eligible for certain nutrition programs. The services include both home-delivered meals and healthy meals served in group settings, such as senior centers and faith-based locations. In addition, the programs provide a range of services including nutrition screening, assessment, education, and counseling. Nutrition services also provide an important link to other supportive in-home and community-based supports, such as homemaker, chore and home-health aide services, transportation, physical activity and chronic disease self-management programs, home repair and modification, and falls prevention programs.

 

Visit the full Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19 Report.