Get Back to School Easier with Help for Low Income Families

Posted on August 19, 2011


The start of a new school year is an important time for planning and preparation. For millions of children and teenagers, it’s time to plan new academic schedules and activities. For parents and guardians it’s a good time to plan financial support for school-aged children. There are several programs and resources available for families who qualify for federal assistance, including low cost lunches and affordable health insurance.

National School Lunch Program

Children who eat well perform better at school. That’s why the National School Lunch Program provides free, low-cost and nutritional lunches to eligible students (usually children from a family of four that makes about $29,055-$41,348 per year).

Enrollment is open year-round, so this program is especially useful if your family has had a sudden loss of income, say, due to a family member losing his or her job.

Some key facts about the program:

  • It’s open for children up to 18 years of age
  • It’s offered at daycare centers, public schools and private nonprofit schools enrolled in the program
  • School lunches meet federal nutritional requirements, which means they limit fats and saturated fats and provide one third of the recommended dietary allowances of proteins necessary for a healthy diet
  • Schools usually send application notices at the beginning of the school year. However, you can enroll at any time by filling out a form and submitting it to the school

Subsidized Health Care for Children

Health insurance is important to ensure regular check-ups and preventive care, as well as emergency treatment, for your child.

You can find affordable health care for your children through the Mayor’s Health Line. Simply call 617-534-5050 and one of our counselors will quickly aid you in finding the right match for you and your child.

Children’s health insurance programs from the State of Massachusetts offer many benefits, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Emergency care
  • Dental services

Also, keep in mind that students going to college can remain on their parent’s health insurance policy until the age of 26 because of new provisions in the Affordable Health Act.

Get Your Children Vaccinated

Vaccines are important not only for the health of your child, but also for his or her classmates. Last year there were outbreaks of whooping cough and measles, which caused dozens of deaths among adults and children. Vaccinations could have helped prevent those outbreaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have several vaccination resources including vaccination calendars that tell you which vaccines are needed and when.

Call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 to find out more information about vaccination resources or to get help in finding a primary care provider who is accepting new patients.

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