February 21, 2023
For 2.5 million children around the U.S., grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends show an ultimate form of love each day by stepping up to raise these children when their parents are unable to do so. These families, known as grandfamilies or kinship families, provide needed stability, connection, and care.
Many grandfamilies face struggles with the sudden expansion of the household. Grandparents and other caregivers may be on a fixed income, have to move from older adult housing to more expensive housing that allows children, or have other circumstances that make it difficult to put food on the table. A quarter of grandparent-headed households reported experiencing food insecurity, according to a Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) analysis conducted for Generations United.
Fortunately, the federal nutrition programs – including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), school meals, Summer EBT, and WIC – provide essential support that improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of households with low incomes. The benefits of these programs are especially powerful for children and for older adults, making them important resources for grandfamilies.
Show love to grandfamilies this February, and year-round, by connecting them to these essential programs. FRAC and partners have produced several key resources that can help you connect grandfamilies in your community to federal nutrition programs:
- Federal Nutrition Programs for Grandfamilies and Kinship Families: Flip through this fact sheet on how federal nutrition programs can help grandfamilies with low incomes access healthy meals, food, and resources to buy food. It provides a brief introduction to key federal nutrition programs and highlights facts about each program that are especially relevant to grandfamilies.
- Get Food Help: Federal Nutrition Programs and Emergency Food Referral Chart for Grandfamilies and Kinship Families: This chart provides a look at the range of federal nutrition programs available to grandfamilies with low incomes. Programs are organized by age group so it’s easy to peruse the list of programs that a grandfamily may be able to access for children and teens, older adult caregivers, or everyone in the household.
- SNAP for Kinship Families and Grandfamilies: Learn more about SNAP for grandfamilies with this fact sheet produced for the Grandfamilies and Kinship Support Network. This resource, available in English and Spanish, is tailored to the circumstances of grandfamilies and includes content that can be used by both organizations and the grandfamilies they serve.
For more on grandfamilies, reference Generations United’s report, Together at the Table: Supporting the Nutrition, Health, and Well-Being of Grandfamilies, which shines a light on the many struggles against hunger faced by grandfamilies, and solutions, and the Grandfamilies and Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center, which helps government agencies and nonprofits in states, Tribes, and territories work across jurisdictional and systemic boundaries to improve supports and services.
You can find all these resources and stay up to date on grandfamilies and federal nutrition program developments with FRAC’s new grandfamilies webpage.