Here are five examples of federal block grants:
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Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was designed as the basic food program for the poor during the Great Depression. The original purpose was to help them get enough food to eat without going hungry. The program was expanded to cover a wider range of people after the food stamp program was created. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP represents about 16 percent of the U.S. population (with most people using it to help pay for their rent, housing and grocery bills).
Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Temporary assistance for families with children, known as TANF, was created in 1996, when Congress set the goal of keeping children from going hungry in need. The program offered assistance to eligible families and individuals in need with the intent that every child receive the same level of support, regardless of his or her race or immigration status, and that parents also take full advantage of their benefits in providing for their children’s education, nutrition, health and other expenses. At the time the federal government began TANF, there were only around 500,000 “receiving families.” Today, there are about one billion recipients. Today, almost nine in 10 children are in need of assistance in one form or another.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – Beginning in 1996, CHIP replaced the Head Start program as a critical component of the nation’s prevention, health care and child nutrition programs. The federal government began making payments to insurance companies in states that allowed local parents of children ages 5 to 17 to send their children to schools through CHIP.
Family Tax Credit, which provides a refundable tax credit to low- and moderate-income families, was first enacted in 1977 to provide tax relief based on the size of the household. This credit increased as income increased. It is now worth up to $1,700 a year for households in the bottom one-fifth of income. It is currently worth $1,320 a year for the bottom 20 percent of income. In 1996, the federal government gave the credit an estimated value of about $150 billion.
State TANF is another crucial piece of the safety net. Since its creation, the federal government has provided about 4 million low-income children with a monthly cash payment to help them get to school each day. Approximately 50 percent of all children enrolled in public or private schools receive
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