Information and resources that support your role in caring for a loved one.

The Family Caregiver Support Program, a no-cost service provided by BayPath Elder Services and other Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state, provides support, information and connections to resources for caregivers in a variety of situations. Not only are caregivers of any age who are caring for an elder eligible, but elders themselves who are caring for a grandchild can also work with a caregiver specialist.

Grandparents raising grandchildren can also access information and resources through the state’s Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. The Commission recently updated their website, adding a number of “tip sheets” with information for specific situations and issues grandparents raising grandchildren may encounter.

One of the scenarios covers eligibility for free school lunches, which is covered by the Kinship Care Families and School Meals: Important Information for Caregivers tip sheet. As we slog through the dog days of August, the first day of school is quickly approaching. If you are raising your grandchild, niece, nephew or godchild in your home and they receive MassHealth coverage, they should be getting free school meals.

Students are automatically eligible for free school meals if they receive MassHealth, Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or foster care payments. Children meeting any of those qualifications should be directly qualified for free school meals and do not need to file a paper application.

If your child is not getting free meals at school, speak with the school nutrition director or principal to confirm the child’s MassHealth status or contact Kerry Bickford at 508-771-4336 x3 or grandparents@capecoalition.com or Pat Baker at 617-357-0700 x328 or pbaker@mlri.org.

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