Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center
WASHINGTON, January 10, 2024 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is absolutely thrilled that 35 states, all five U.S. territories, and four tribes have started the New Year by notifying the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of their commitment to reduce childhood hunger by implementing Summer EBT in summer 2024.
Beginning this summer, the new nationwide Summer EBT Program will provide families with $120 per eligible child for the summer in federally funded grocery benefits on new or existing Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to help supplement summer meal sites for children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year.
When the school year ends, millions of children from households with low incomes lose access to the school meals they rely on. The Summer Nutrition Programs, known as summer meals, play a vital role in reducing childhood hunger and often link children to summer enrichment programming. Despite these benefits, summer meals reach only a fraction of the children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals during the school year. Summer EBT would bridge that gap for an estimated 21 million children, according to USDA.
FRAC commends USDA for its ongoing commitment to provide children with the critical nutrition they need. By implementing the program, states will help ensure that children have a hunger-free summer and return to school well-nourished and ready to learn.
FRAC looks forward to working with USDA, as well as our national, state, and local partners to support the implementation of Summer EBT in 2024.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.