The vast majority of federal grant funding issued by the U.S. Government intended to help individuals is given out to states. In Florida, the state takes this federal grant money and pairs it with revenue from state taxes to provide services to residents of Florida. Support is provided to low-income families in a number of ways, providing food, cash payments and health care coverage to needy Floridians. Here we have listed a brief description of each program and how to apply for help.
Energy and Weatherization Assistance
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity offers two major assistance programs to help Florida residents deal with home energy costs. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funnels funding from the federal government to local agency providers that provide direct assistance to citizens. To apply for help contact your local LIHEAP provider or call Community Assistance at 850-488-7541. The Weatherization Assistance Program grants funding to reduce monthly energy costs by boosting energy efficiency in low-income households. To apply for help contact your local weatherization office.
The Florida Department of Children and Families provides the Food Assistance Program to low-income households. This is what the State of Florida now calls the Food Stamps Program. Benefits can be used to purchase food using Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT cards. Funding cannot be used to buy household items like cleaning supplies and paper products or to purchase alcohol or tobacco. Find out if you qualify and apply online at myflorida.com.
Early childhood education is available in some Florida communities through the federally funded Head Start Program. Head Start works to boost school readiness in children under the age of 5 from low-income communities. Early Head Start works with expecting mothers and their young children under the age of 3. The state also offers programs for migrants and American Indian populations. To find any Head Start Program inside Florida, use the Head Start locator on the national website.
Florida KidCare offers affordable health insurance coverage for uninsured children under the age of 19. Most families pay between $15 and $20 a month. Children from federally recognized American Indian tribes can receive free coverage under the program. Its super easy to apply for KidCare. Just download the one-page application and mail it in or apply online at healthykids.org. Call 1-888-540-5437 to have an application mailed to you or to ask any questions about the program.
The Florida Medicaid Program provides health care to some low-income residents of the state through a Federal partnership with the U.S. Government. The program provides health benefits to pregnant women, parents with children under 19, blind, disabled and seniors over the age of 65. The Department of Children and Families oversees enrollment in Medicaid and provides 13 area offices to serve program recipients. To find your local office, select your county on this interactive map.
School Nutrition Programs
A partnership between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education provides the federally funded School Breakfast and Lunch Programs to provide balanced meals for free or low-cost to Florida’s school children. To apply for these programs, simply contact your child’s school. Or call 1-800-504-6609 to speak to a state representative about either program. The state also provides milk to half-day kindergarten and preschool classes through the Special Milk Program. When school is out, school children can still receive nutritional support through the Summer Food Program. Search by zip code, city or county to find a feeding site near you. Or call toll-free at 1-800-622-5985.
Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children
Florida provides support for pregnant women and those with young children from toddlers to age 5 through the Federal WIC Program. This helps low-income families and those that are suspected of being nutritionally at-risk. The program provides supplemental foods, education and referral for health care services. If you already receive help from the SNAP or TANF Programs, you automatically are eligible for assistance through WIC. To apply contact the local WIC office that provides support in your area or call 1-800-342-3556 to find out where to apply.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Florida’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF provides financial help to low-income families. It also offers job training and preparation to encourage families to become more independent. You may apply online or by calling the statewide call center at 1-866-762-2237. A list of local area service centers is provided on the Department of Children and Families website.
Those that loose their job through no fault of their own can apply for temporary compensation while they pursue work in the State of Florida. To be eligible for the program, you will have had to have worked in the past 12 to 18 months, be available to start working and seeking employment while receiving benefits. To file an unemployment claim go online to floridajobs.org, visit the closest One-Stop Career Center or call 1-800-204-2418.
Category: Grants By States