Access to healthy food is critical to the well-being of young and old alike. In uncertain economic times, many local residents are facing the challenge of putting food on their tables.
Southern New Hampshire Services is able to expand the availability of healthy food to area residents through a variety of Nutrition Programs offered by the Community Action Agency in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties.
The programs are available to individuals and families who meet the requirements outlined below and are in addition to other nutritional support programs available, such as New Hampshire Food Stamps. Area residents who have already met the requirements for New Hampshire Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Medicaid may automatically income eligible.
Those eligible for the programs can register at any time.
Women Infants Children (WIC): Providing nutrition education and vouchers to buy healthy foods, WIC is available to income eligible pregnant, postpartum and postpartum breastfeeding women, as well as infants and children under age 5. The program provides basic, healthy foods to assure that families enrolled in the program get the nutrition they need. The WIC Program also provides nutrition, breastfeeding and health education as well as other services for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to the age of five.
WIC is for all kinds of families: married and single parents, working or not working. If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under five, you can apply for WIC.
Senior Food Program (CSFP): Income eligible senior citizens age 60+, postpartum women and children under 6 who do not participate in WIC have the opportunity to receive a monthly issuance of nutritious foods through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The CSFP food package is designed to supplement the participant’s monthly nutritional needs as they select from the foods stored in warehouse “shopping areas” located in Manchester and Nashua. Pre-packed food boxes are also available at each of the remote certification sites throughout Hillsborough and Rockingham County. Seniors unable to go to the food distribution sites themselves can designate a “proxy” who is able to pick up their food allocation for them.
The foods provided through the WIC and CSF Programs help families and individuals purchase staple, healthy food items and stretch their food budgets by more than $48 per month for each participant. That could translate to $48 back in the pockets or Food Stamp budgets of struggling families and seniors.