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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 10% of American households experience hunger, and in Tennessee, the numbers are even worse. In November of 2021, Tennessee was named one of the 10 Hungriest states in the country.
A child health poll recently conducted by Vanderbilt revealed that one out of every three Tennessee families is experiencing hunger, and there are a number of barriers that prevent families from getting access to the programs they need, even if they qualify. The nutrition team at TJC works hard to ensure families get the help they need.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. It provides low-income families with an EBT card that can be used, like a debit card, to buy food at grocery stores and farmers markets. We’re working to connect people who need this important program. Help us eliminate hunger in Tennessee by becoming a SNAP Access Partner.
Child nutrition programs are vitally important to ensuring Tennessee children have access to healthy meals during the school year through the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. During the summer months, child hunger often spikes, when children lose access to school meals. The Summer Food Service Program is crucial to addressing summer hunger among Tennessee children. The Pandemic EBT program is the most recent program designed to support families that were impacted during the pandemic.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is designed to provide nutritional food options, educational resources, and breastfeeding support to low-income women and infants aged 5 or younger.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) is a federal nutrition program that serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children ages 5 and under. It is designed to provide nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and referrals to other health services. In Tennessee, WIC agencies distribute a monthly electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to qualifying families that can be used to buy food from approved grocery stores and farmers markets. Learn how you can help increase WIC participation.
If you participate in the WIC program, be sure to check your online balance to make sure you are receiving the right benefit amount for your family before you go shopping. If you have NOT received your benefit, click here to reach your local WIC department or call 1-800-DIAL-WIC for assistance.
KEEPING THE NUTRITION SAFETY NET STRONG
A strong safety net means nourished Tennesseans. We’re engaging and educating policymakers on the importance of hunger solutions like SNAP and school meals and how they can be improved. In 2020 we protected SNAP for hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans, and have worked to ensure that over 300,000 children are able to access P-EBT during the pandemic.