Unemployment and a bad economy have put many families into the low-income category. Struggling families trying to make it financially can turn to the government for financial and social services. There are hundreds of grants and subsidies available to low-income families for food, money and housing. Taking advantage of these programs can be as simple as knowing where to look and filling out some forms.
Low-income families must stretch their money as far as possible, which often means sacrificing the variety and nutritional value of food consumed. When a child's basic needs are not met, there are devastating consequences. Children from low-income families are at the highest risk for malnutrition, childhood obesity, poor mental health, and lack of energy. Hunger can have a negative effect on a child's school performance and ability to learn.
Low-income families can receive help with energy bills under the low-income home energy program. Families that make less than 150% above the poverty level are eligible. This federal grant program administered through local and state agencies helps low-income families pay their immediate energy needs. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, states may apply for a portion of the block grant to help low-income households meet the cost of immediate and emergency household energy bills. The funds, distributed depending on the state's weather and population, go to where they will do the most good.
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