Federal Food Programs
Twelve federal food assistance programs exist to combat hunger. If these programs were strengthened and fully utilized, we could virtually end hunger in Connecticut. End Hunger CT! focuses outreach, advocacy and education efforts around these nutrition programs, including:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s first defense against hunger. SNAP gives people a monthly benefit, on an Electronic Benetic Transfer card (EBT), that is used to purchase food. Many Farmers Markets in Connecticut accept SNAP. This program provides more substantial nutrition assistance to children than all of the child nutrition programs combined.
Click here for information on how to apply for SNAP benefits in CT
National School Lunch Program Signed into law in 1946, the National School Lunch Program provides a federally funded reimbursement to public and private schools and childcare institutions for free and reduced price meals. Lunches served as a part of the National School Lunch Program must meet USDA healthy food guidelines.
School Breakfast Program The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally funded meals program that started in 1966. The SBP provides nutritious breakfasts to students and gets them ready to learn.
Summer Food Service Program This program was created to provide the benefits of school lunch and breakfast during the summer when school is not in session. The program is vastly underutilized.
Click here to request additional information on School Breakfast/Summer Food Programs
Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) WIC is a federally funded nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers and children age 5 and under stay healthy and eat well.
Child and Adult Care Food Program The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is federally funded and provides reimbursement for meals and snacks served in child and adult daycare facilities as well as to children in emergency shelters.
Nutritional Program for the Elderly The Nutrition Program for the Elderly includes congregate meal sites (Community Cafes) and homebound meals (Meals on Wheels), which are federally funded and administered by the State of Connecticut, Elderly Services Division.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program
This federal program is administered by the CT State Department of Social Serices (DSS). DSS contracts with Connecticut Food Bank, Inc. and Foodshare, Inc. to distribute United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities to eligible food banks, food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens serving meals and providing household distribution. These commodities include items such as canned vegetables, fruits, meat, cereals, etc.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policym, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or diability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.