Children from low income families that live in New Mexico can get financial help in paying for any needed school supplies. The state offers two different programs for students, one which is focused on foster children and the other which will assist households living in poverty. In either case, everything from uniforms to basic school supplies may be purchased using assistance from the state.
The state will provide the family additional cash aid from TANF. All of the funding needs to go to pay for school supplies. But a wide variety of items can be purchased, ranging from clothing to uniforms, notebooks, shoes, laptops, pens or pencils, tablets, and much more. Note in order to receive this additional back to school assistance, the resident needs to be enrolled into TANF - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This means the applicant needs to meet all of the guidelines of this government entitlement.
Of course if there is not a family enrolled into those benefit programs, the student still has many other options available to them. Charities such as the Salvation Army and non-profits also provide supplies to children, and locate other places to turn to for free school stuff.
There are two government agencies that process the applications. They include the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) as well as the Human Services Department (HSD). Social workers from these offices process applications, provide referrals, and can direct families living in poverty to school supply assistance programs.
The goal is to ensure that children have the items they need so they can focus on learning while in the classroom. Also, having the proper clothing (such as shoes, jackets, etc.) will help build confidence in the child. They will feel more comfortable in the school and not feel at unease.
New Mexico low income families will generally be given an additional cash voucher during June to August. The dollar amount will range, but it may be from $25 to $100 per child. This depends on the budget that was approved. Any assistance needs to only go towards school uniforms and supplies. The parents do have flexibility in where they can spend their money. They can select local charity thrift store, national retailers, or any other store in New Mexico.
Foster families/children can also get extra cash to pay for their back to school supplies. This component is supported by the Children, Youth, and Families Department. The caregiver will be able to obtain books, backpacks, uniforms, clothing, and much more. If the household is also on TANF welfare, then the two programs can be combined.
Based on total TANF enrollment in New Mexico, it is estimated that well over 10,000 students will be assisted each year. They will be given help from the Human Services Department for the upcoming year, but families do need to apply the first time they need help. If they do not request assistance from the special back to school program, then the state will not be aware of their need. More details on who to call is below.
For more information on the TANF school supply program, dial the New Mexico Human Services Department at (800) 283-4465. As noted, this is only for families currently on TANF. If they are not enrolled, they can sign up. Then, at that time, they can request vouchers for school supplies.
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