Saturday, July 07, 2007

CareGiver Support: Non-Qualifying Budget Help

Court personnel, as well as probate practioners, deal with a great number of individuals who are helping care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one. We know the costs involved, and appreciate the real financial burden this can sometimes place upon a family. This is particularly true for families who have income high enough to prevent qualification for some programs, and yet face budgeting for elder care and kids in college at the same time.

Here are 2 great resources which do not require any qualification. Anyone can participate who chooses to do so.

1. Angel Food Ministeries -- restaurant quality food sold at discount prices, including great bargains on things like steaks and seafood. Each month, a package of high-quality goods is offered. A sample month (all for $25):

1 package chicken nuggets
4 8-oz hamburger steaks
4 6-oz pork chops
1.5 lb. thick bacon
1 dozen eggs
2-lb bag of frozen French fries
5 bagels
2-lb bag of onions
4 Delicious Apples
5 Bananas
1 Gourmet Pie.

From their site:

"Angel Food Ministeries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States....

"Angel Food's groceries are sold in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $25 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $50. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

"Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one would purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

"Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can purchase, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries, like most all other retail grocery stores, also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system."

2. CareGivers' Marketplace -- cash back on dietary supplements; bathing and skin care; digestive health; incontinence care (adult diapers); home health care; mobility and independence; and nutrition.

From their site:

"The Caregivers Marketplace™ is the nation's first cash back program for anyone who gives, gets or needs care. You can receive cash back on eligible products that are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare – no matter where you buy them. Our program is free and your information is always kept confidential....Your cash back check will arrive in the mail within 4-6 weeks. It’s that simple."