If you need help putting fresh, nutritious food on the table, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) offer several nutrition programs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP benefits, formerly the food stamps program, are part of a federal program to help people with limited means pay for food. You can find out if you are eligible for SNAP benefits online or by calling the Department of Transitional Assistance’s (DTA) helpline at (877) 382-2363.
Once you’re approved, you can use your SNAP benefits with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card at stores with a Quest® mark on the door or in the window. You can also visit SNAP-friendly farmers’ markets to buy fresh, local foods.
Senior Nutrition Program
If you live in Massachusetts and are 60 or older, you may qualify for one of two meal options:
- Congregate Meals — The Congregate Meals Program offers at least one healthy meal a day for seniors at a neighborhood community site like a senior center, Council on Aging, housing facility, school, or church. It’s also open to individuals with disabilities who are under 60 and live in a housing facility where these meals are served. Most of the nutrition programs have their menus posted online.
- Home-Delivered Meals — If you can’t get to a congregate meal location, you can apply for home-delivered meals. Check out the requirements to receive home-delivered meals to find out if you’re eligible.
To learn more about the Senior Nutrition Program or find a local provider, you can call EOEA at (617) 727-7750 or (800) 872-0166 for TTY.
Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) is a free nutrition program that provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other resources to help Massachusetts families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and kids under 5 healthy.
You can participate in WIC if you:
- Live in Massachusetts
- Have a nutritional need (WIC staff can help you determine this)
- Have a family income less than the WIC guidelines
- Are a pregnant woman, new mother, or legal guardian of a child under 5 — yes, some men are eligible for WIC, too
To apply for WIC or learn more about the program, call (800) WIC-1007 or contact a WIC office in your community. The WIC program also offers interpreter services and language assistance at no cost to any applicant or participant.
Don’t let limited funds or mobility keep you from eating a healthy, balanced diet. Find out what you can do to eat better with help from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Can one of these programs help you or someone you know? Share this post, and follow @MassGov to learn more about state programs in Massachusetts.
Tags: children, eating better, eating healthy, national nutrition month, nutrition, nutrition guidelines, nutrition standards, nutritional meals, senior nutrition, senior nutrition program, SNAP benefits, WIC
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