Low-income Missourians can get free cell service

A mobile carrier is offering free cellphones and wireless service to low-income Missourians.

Assurance Wireless, an arm of Sprint, is offering 250 free voice minutes and 250 free text messages to eligible residents.

The company says 900,000 Missourians may be eligible if they meet income guidelines.

A family of four would need an income of no more than $31,793. Residents also can qualify if they're on certain public assistance programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps or government-subsidized school meals.

Assurance Wireless will receive reimbursement from the Federal Communication Commission's Lifeline program to cover the cost of services.

The Missouri Public Service Commission recently approved the program. Assurance Wireless offers a similar service in 39 other states.