News from Benefits.Gov – Child and Adult Food Care Program

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursements for healthy meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who attend a participating child care center, day care home, or adult day care. Read all about who can receive CACFP benefits, how to locate participating institutions, and what kind of meals are provided in our new article, “What to Know About the Child and Adult Food Care Program.”

August 6, 2020

What to Know About the Child and Adult Food Care Program

Providing Americans access to nutrition is an important goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursements for healthy meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who attend a participating child care center, day care home, or adult day care. The program also provides nutrition services to children participating in afterschool care programs, children residing in emergency shelters, and adults over the age of 60 or living with a disability and enrolled in day care centers.

Participating centers and day care homes offering meals through the CACFP play an important role in supporting the wellness, health, and development of children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities through providing nutritious meals. Importantly, participating child care providers have an opportunity to encourage healthy habits in young children that serve as a foundation for a healthy life.

Who can receive CACFP benefits?

The CACFP is for centers and not individuals. Individuals do not apply for this program directly but can become eligible for benefits if their care center is a participant. If you are currently enrolled in a child care or adult care center, inquire about the CACFP with your program coordinators. Participating centers may automatically offer services to certain groups. These include children who are participants of Head Start or Early Head Start programs. Other groups that may benefit automatically include foster children, who are the responsibility of the state or placed by the court, and children who are experiencing homelessness, are also automatically eligible.

If you are representing a care center looking to participate in the program, please visit the Child and Adult Care Food Program page.

How do I find institutions participating in CACFP?

State agencies are responsible for monitoring institutions participating in CACFP to ensure compliance with meal pattern, recordkeeping, and other Program requirements. Contact your state’s Department of Education to learn about participating institutions in the state you reside in. To search for your state’s contact information, please use the FNS Contact List.

What kind of meals are provided with CACFP?

The program reimburses care centers for many different meals, depending on the type of program the center runs. While not all participating care centers will supply the same meals, some of the meals that can be reimbursed by CACFP include:

  • Breakfast;
  • Morning snack;
  • Lunch;
  • Afternoon snack; and
  • Supper. 

Each of the meals served by participating programs must meet nutritional requirements set by the FNS CACFP “meal patterns”, which have nutrition standards for meals and snacks based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and recommendations made by the National Academy of Medicine. Under these standards, meals and snacks served at care centers participating in CACFP include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat. Additionally, the meal pattern standards encourage breastfeeding and better align the CACFP with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and with other child nutrition programs.

To learn more about other food and nutrition benefits available, please visit the Food and Nutrition category page. Filter by state or by subcategory to narrow your search. 

If you need food help today, you may also call the National Hunger Hotline. Hotline staff can help you find food near where you live:

1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) 

1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (en Español) 

Featured Benefit

Curious about your eligibility for other government benefits? Use the Benefit Finder to check your eligibility for over 1,000 state and federal assistance programs. To learn more about coronavirus resources, visit the Help Center on

Leave a comment »

New from Where to Find Housing Assistance During the Pandemic

Grant Geek Diva

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has brought unprecedented difficulties to people across the United States. Do you need assistance with mortgage or rent payments? Are you homeless or at risk of homelessness? Check out the recent article by, “Where to Find Housing Assistance During the Pandemic.” The article explains where to find resources for homelessness assistance, affordable rental housing, foreclosure assistance and more.

Curious about other benefit and assistance programs? You can explore the 1,000 state and federal assistance programs hosted on and check you eligibility using the Benefit Finder questionnaire.

Leave a Reply

View original post

Leave a comment »

New from Find Disability Assistance Online

Are you looking for benefits related to disability assistance? has recently published a new article, Find Disability Assistance Online. In this article, you will learn how to find disability assistance online, what programs are available on, and where to access program applications. hosts information on programs for citizens with disabilities that can help you lead a more independent life, including income assistance, employment accommodations, caregiver programs, and more. To explore these programs, visit our Disability Assistance category of benefits or take the Benefit Finder to check your eligibility for over 1,000 government programs. 

Leave a comment »

New from Watch Out for Coronavirus Scams

Over the past few weeks, many citizens have received stimulus checks from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These payments provide critical relief for many Americans, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant economic disruption and put many out of work. In these uncertain times, the IRS is urging taxpayers to be cautious and keep an eye out for a potential rise in phishing scams. encourages citizens to stay smart, and read our new article, “Watch for Coronavirus Related Scams”

On, you can find additional coronavirus resources, including our article on “Finding the Right Help During the Coronavirus” Outbreak”, our article “Coronavirus Resources for Unemployment and Small Businesses”, and our Coronavirus FAQ within our Help Center. 

Leave a comment »

New from Coronavirus Resources for Unemployment and Small Businesses

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a rapid change in how many live their everyday lives, and millions have filed for unemployment as businesses closed. You may be wondering what your options are as social distancing rules remain in place. strives to make accessing benefit information easier for all citizens – the coronavirus pandemic makes our mission more critical than ever.

In our new article, “Coronavirus Resources for Unemployment and Small Businesses”, learn about what resources are available for you and your business. In the article, you will find information on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, economic impact payments, small business loan resources and more!

On, you can find additional coronavirus resources, including our article on “Finding the Right Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak”, and our Coronavirus FAQ within our Help Center. 

Leave a comment »

USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses and agricultural producers and being a strong supporter of all aspects of the rural economy,” Secretary Perdue said. “Ensuring more rural agricultural producers are able to gain access to much-needed capital in these unprecedented times is a cornerstone of that commitment.”

In addition to expanding eligibility to certain agricultural producers, the changes Secretary Perdue announced today allow USDA to:

  • Provide 90 percent guarantees on B&I CARES Act Program loans;
  • Set the application and guarantee fee at two percent of the loan;
  • Accept appraisals completed within two years of the loan application date;
  • Not require discounting of collateral for working capital loans, and
  • Extend the maximum term for working capital loans to 10 years.

B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.

USDA announced the expanded B&I CARES Act Program authorities in a notice published in the May 21 Federal Register (PDF, 217 KB). Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.

Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located.

USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, May 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, visit

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, visit

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit


Leave a comment »

See If You Qualify for Free Tax Preparation Software

If your adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less in 2013, you may qualify to use a brand name tax software to prepare and e-file your taxes for FREE. 

Answer a few questions on to determine if you’re eligible, or check out the participating tax software companies and their individual requirements

Leave a comment » – Education – Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

The DEA program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans. You can get up to 45 months of fill time benefits as a beneficiary of the DEA program. If you are training at less than the full time rate of pursuit, the number of months would be adjusted accordingly.

General Program Requirements

You must be a son, daughter, or spouse of a:

  • Veteran who is permanently and totally disabled as the result of, or dies of, a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of or be aggravated by active service.
  • Veteran with a permanent and total service-connected disability who dies from any cause.
  • Servicemember who died on active duty in the line of duty.
  • Servicemember who is hospitalized, or receiving out-patient treatment or services, for a service-connected disability and is pending discharge from the military.
  • Service member who is missing in action, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.

Reservists and National Guard members who are activated for Federal service OR who die/become disabled while on training status are considered veterans.Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered to be active duty members and veterans, once discharged.

Educational and Vocational assessment and counseling is available upon request by Chapter 35 participants through VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service.

Application Process

To complete an application, use VA Form 22-5490, “Dependents’ Application for VA Educational Benefits.” You can also complete the application online on VA’s eBenefits web site.

For more information, please visit VA’s Education and Training page.

If you have questions:

  • Visit the GI Bill customer service page, and search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question online
  • Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or 1-800-827-1000
  • For TDD/TYY use 711

eBenefits is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. With a free Premium level eBenefits account, Veterans and Servicemembers can conduct self-service transactions such as checking claim status information, GI Bill enrollment, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, DD214, and other personal information. For further information and to register for a free Premium level account, visit VA’s eBenefits web site.

Leave a comment »

Recommit to Your Money Goals During Financial Literacy Month

From – Remember when you made that promise to yourself to get a better handle on your finances this year? Well April is the perfect time to reassess your progress on your money goals as part of Financial Literacy Month. Not sure where to start? Then let us help you! Start by ordering our free Financial Foundations Toolkit to get the advice and confidence you need to make sound money decisions. This toolkit will teach you:

  • How to save for college or retirement when money is tight
  • What you should do right after a job loss
  • What your insurance rights are in serious medical situations
  • How to avoid financial scams and identity theft
  • And more

Then make sure to follow along all month as we share more tools and resources you can use to manage your finances and set money goals you can achieve. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll learn this month:

  • Week one we’ll talk all things credit, scams and consumer protection.
  • Week two you’ll find tools and tips you can use to plan a comfortable retirement.
  • Week three we’ll tackle money management throughout all phases of life.
  • Week four you’ll learn how to invest your money safely and wisely.

Leave a comment » – Equity Investment – Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), was created in 1958 to fill the gap between the availability of venture capital and the needs of small businesses in start-up and growth situations. SBICs exist to supply equity capital, long­term loans and management assistance to qualifying small businesses.The privately owned and operated SBICs use their own capital and funds borrowed from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide financing to small businesses in the form of equity securities and long­term loans. SBICs are profit­seeking organizations that select small businesses to be financed within rules and regulations set by SBA. Specialized SBICs (SSBIC) are a particular type of SBIC that provide assistance solely to small businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged persons.

SBICs invest in a broad range of industries. Some SBICs seek out small businesses with new products or services because of the strong growth potential of such firms. Some SBICs specialize in the field in which their management has special competency. Most SBICs, however, consider a wide variety of investment opportunities.

General Program Requirements

To obtain SBIC financing, you should first identify and investigate existing SBICs that may be interested in financing your company. Use the SBIC directory as a first step in learning as much as possible about SBICs in your state, or in other areas important to your company’s needs. In choosing an SBIC, consider the types of investments it makes, how much money is available for investment and how much might be available in the future. You should also consider whether the SBIC can offer you management services appropriate to your needs. Only companies defined by SBA as “small” are eligible for SBIC financing.

Loan Terms

This program provides equity investment as opposed to debt financing. The difference is that debt involves a loan that needs to be repaid on certain terms. An equity investment involves an Investment company that buy a piece of your business. They become co-owners in the business. These type of investments are negotiated by the investor and the company and therefore do not have standard terms like a debt financing (loan) program. More information about preparing for the investment is located at:

Application Process

To find information about active SBICs, please visit the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC) website at:

Leave a comment »