Free Government Grants for Low-Income Families

Shopping at your local farmers market.
You may be eligible to apply for grants that allow you to shop for fresh food at local farmer's markets. (Image: manleyaudio/iStock/Getty Images)

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.

Section 8 Housing

Section 8 housing is a federal program administered by the states. It provides rental assistance to low-income families in the way of rental vouchers. The vouchers, provided by the local housing authorities, allow you to obtain housing in communities instead of public housing complexes. According to Federal Money Retriever, the program helps low-income families and individuals find safe, quality housing. The Public Housing Act combines housing programs for rental assistance offered by Section 8 into one market-driven program. It improves tenant assistance, increases the success by providing low-income families cheap housing and expands housing choices.

Low-Income Energy Grant

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.

Nutritional Assistance

The Food and Nutrition Service, or FNS—offered to low-income families in the way of the supplemental nutritional assistance program, school meal programs, summer food service programs and others—assures that low-income individuals receive proper nutrition. Administered by state, local and community organizations, the FNS provides better opportunities to beat childhood hunger, reduce obesity and increase access to the anti-hunger programs and safety networks. In addition to government partnerships, the Food and Nutrition Service has partnerships with community food banks, faith-based organizations and anti-hunger programs.

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