North Carolina receives large federal block grants from the U.S. Government that assist the state in providing a number of benefit and assistance programs to state residents. Low-income North Carolinians can apply for help with food and health care and can even receive cash assistance to make ends meet during tough times. Here we have provided a brief description of what each program does and where to apply for assistance if you are eligible.
Food and Nutrition Services
Formerly called the North Carolina Food Stamps Program, low-income residents of the state can receive help feeding their families through Food and Nutrition Services. Eligible participants receive EBT or electronic benefit cards that can be used to buy food at participating stores. Funds cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, pet food or household supplies. Apply at your local DSS office.
This is a federal early childhood education program that provides a preschool experience to low-income kids focused on school readiness. The program highly involves parents and is available to children from birth to age 5 and also to expecting mothers. To find the program closest to your area, use the Head Start locator available on the Administration for Children and Families website.
Health Choice for Children
This program provides comprehensive health coverage for children of low-income families whose parents make too much money to be covered by Medicaid but who still cannot afford private insurance. You can apply for Health Choice through the same process as applying for Medicaid at your local DSS office.
Low Income Energy Assistance
This North Carolina program provides a one-time cash payment to assist low-income households with home heating bills. You must apply for help at your local DSS office. Usually the funding is distributed for February and March. In cases where an elderly or disabled resident lives in the home, assistance may also be available for December and January.
North Carolina Medicaid covers over 1 million state residents, providing health care to the elderly, disabled, pregnant and families with minor children. To apply for coverage, visit your local DSS office. For questions about Medicaid or for help with medical referral, call the NC Care Line at 1-800-662-7030.
School Breakfast and Lunch
These programs feed low-income North Carolina school children inside public schools. Children of eligible families can receive free or reduced meals depending on income. Apply at your child’s school.
In school settings where breakfast and lunch are not available such as half-day kindergartens, the state offers this program to provide milk to those kids. Apply at your child’s school.
Summer Food Service
This program serves the same children who receive free and reduced meals during the school year during summer months. Meals are provided at feeding sites such as parks, playgrounds, churches and community centers. Inquire about this program at your child’s school during the school year to apply and locate feeding sites in your area.
If you have lost your job through no fault of your own in North Carolina, you may be able to receive temporary cash assistance while you seek new employment. You must have worked in the past 12 to 18 months. You must be seeking work and available to start a new job while receiving unemployment benefits. You can file a claim online on the Division of Employment Security website or by calling 919-733-7156.
This program helps low-income North Carolinians save on energy costs by providing weatherization to homes that boost energy efficiency. Help is available to the elderly, disabled, families with children and others experiencing higher than normal energy costs. Eligible families must be at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines. To apply for help, call the Office of Economic Opportunity at 919-715-5850.
Women, Infants and Children
The North Carolina WIC program helps pregnant women and those with children up to the age of 5 by providing supplemental foods, nutritional education and health care referral. It is for low-income North Carolinians found to be at-risk nutritionally. To apply for help, contact your WIC county office which is usually your local Health Department. You can also call the NC Family Health Resource hotline at 1-800-367-2229 for questions about the WIC program.
This program helps North Carolina families become self-sufficient through job training and placement. This is what the state calls temporary assistance for needy families or TANF. It offers up to two years of cash assistance while participants attempt to move off welfare and provide for themselves through employment. Apply for this program at your local DSS office or call the NC Care Line at 1-800-662-7030.
Category: Grants By States