Helping Ensure Access to Safe Drinking Water
Several Food and Nutrition Service programs can help families avoid water with high lead levels by increasing access to bottled water and/or water filters.
For more information on the specific provisions of these programs, please contact your specific State agency.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participants can use their benefits to purchase bottled water at any authorized store.
Schools participating in the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program can use their non-profit food service account funds to make bottled water available to students free of charge during lunch and breakfast. The total per meal reimbursement rate remains the same. Water filters may be an allowable cost for schools. Program operators must consult with and obtain approval from the State agency prior to initiating any expenditure for equipment to filter water.
Child & Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) & Summer Meals
Summer sites, child care providers, and adult care institutions can claim bottled water as a reimbursable cost. The total per meal reimbursement rate remains the same. Water filters may be an allowable cost for CACFP and summer meals programs. Program operators must consult with and obtain approval from the State agency prior to initiating any expenditure for equipment to filter water.
Women, Infants & Children
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food package allows infant formula to be purchased in concentrated liquid, powdered, or ready-to-feed form. In an area that has been affected by a water contamination crisis, mothers who are not fully breastfeeding are encouraged to purchase ready-to-feed formula, which does not need to be mixed with water.