Parents encouraged to apply for NJ’s kid-friendly programs

Published on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Parents with low and moderate incomes can sign-up their children in several kid-focused programs offered through three state departments. The programs, administered by the Departments of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Agriculture (NJDA) and Human Services (DHS) include, NJ FamilyCare, NJ SNAP, WIC, Vaccines for Children and Free or Reduced School Lunch. All of the programs are partially or fully federally funded and have comparable qualifying criteria.

Women, Infants and Children Program

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program provides supplemental nutritious foods to infants and children up to the age of five. For children older than age five in eligible families, there is the N.J. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NJ SNAP), which provides monthly electronic benefits on an ATM-like card for unprepared foods and grocery purchases.

School Lunch Program

The School Lunch Program provides a nutritious, well-balanced lunch at no cost for children in families earning less than $29,055 annually for a family of four or at a reduced cost for children in families with incomes below $41,348 annually for a family of four. Eligible families need to fill out the application for free or reduced price meals so their children are included in the program and students whose families already qualify for NJ SNAP of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will receive free meals.

Children qualified for WIC and the Free or Reduced Lunch program likely meet the criteria for NJ SNAP.

Vaccines for Children

If families are uninsured or underinsured, the Vaccines for Children program is available to them.

NJ FamilyCare Insurance

If your child is uninsured, apply today for NJ FamilyCare. Children in families with incomes under $78,225 per year for a family of four are eligible. The plan includes primary care, specialists, hospitalization, prescription and dental benefits. Even if your income is higher, your child may still qualify for low-cost health insurance through NJ FamilyCare Advantage.

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