WASHINGTON, December 8, 2023 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is calling on all states to reduce summer hunger by participating in the new nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program.
Summer EBT offers an opportunity to reduce summer hunger by providing families, whose children lose access to free or reduced-price school meals during the summer months, an Electronic Benefit Transfer card to purchase food throughout the summer months.
“Summer can be the hungriest time for children,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC. “While the Summer Nutrition Programs are critical to connecting children to meals and opportunities to keep learning during the summer months, the program does not reach the millions of children who rely on school meals to keep hunger at bay. Summer EBT bridges that gap. Together, summer meals and Summer EBT offer an important opportunity for states to mitigate childhood hunger.”
By implementing the program, states can help ensure that children have a hunger-free summer and return to school well-nourished and ready to learn.
State governments must notify the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by January 1, 2024, of their intention to run the Summer EBT Program. This notification is not binding, and if states are unable to execute the program, there is no penalty. Moreover, states must submit a management and administrative plan to USDA that includes an outline of the roles and responsibilities of each state agency during implementation, by February 15, 2024.
“Implementing Summer EBT should be a no-brainer. We need every state to step in and ensure no child has to worry about where their next meal will come from,” added Guardia. “Hungry children can’t wait.”
View FRAC’s state fact sheets for a detailed picture of Summer EBT, including statistics on the estimated number of children who would be eligible to receive Summer EBT benefits in summer 2024 and a breakdown of the economic impact of Summer EBT.
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.