Food and Nutrition Programs

Food and nutrition programs help to ensure that all Americans have access to nutritious foods while promoting health and well-being. These programs are operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are designed to provide a federal safety net to individuals, families, and communities.

USDA operates 15 federal nutrition assistance programs to help people with low incomes to purchase nutritious and safe food while reducing the impact of hunger on the economy and communities. These programs are referred to as the USDA Food Assistance Programs and serve one in six Americans across the country.

National School Lunch Program: The national school lunch program is a government-funded meal service program that provides nutritious, low cost or free meals to more than 31 million children each school day. The program is primarily operated at the Federal level, but State education agencies also administer many of the school meals in partnership with local school food authorities and other community organizations.

Summer Food Service Program: This programĀ provides reimbursement for meals served to children attending private nonprofit and public schools, child care centers, and other types of community-based organizations throughout the summer. The program is based on the eligibility requirements of the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and has been in operation since 1946.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: The SNAP program is the largest of the USDA food assistance programs and serves millions of low-income, working individuals and their families each year. The program issues electronic benefits that are used like cash to purchase groceries. These benefits can be used to buy any food in the federal food system, including produce, dairy products, meats and frozen foods.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC): The WIC program provides supplemental foods, nutritional information and referrals to medical and other health care services to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, as well as children under 5 who are determined to be at nutritional risk. The program is funded through USDA grants and distributed to participating States and Indian Tribal Organizations.

New York City Food Assistance Programs: The NYC Department of Health provides a variety of food assistance programs for individuals and families to help them obtain nutritious foods. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, New York City Food Stamps and Health Bucks at dozens of farmers markets and other locations in the city.

Jersey City, NJ Food Assistance Program: The Health Department of Jersey City is committed to ensuring that all residents have access to healthy and nutritious foods. We do this by providing a range of health and nutrition education resources for children in child care centers, by offering a half off farm box program to SNAP recipients and by encouraging residents to eat locally and purchase fruits and vegetables through the Health Bucks program.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious foods in order to live longer, healthier and happier lives. Our programs strive to promote healthy eating habits by fostering an understanding of the interconnections between food and health. We also strive to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and affordable foods in order to build a more resilient food system.