When schools close their doors for the summer, millions of children lose access to their only reliable source of nutritious meals. The USDA’s new Summer EBT program will help ensure that more than 20 million children will continue to have access to adequate nutrition this summer, enabling them to return to school in the fall well-nourished and ready to learn.
Feeding America celebrates the news that at least 35 states, five US territories and four tribes intend to launch Summer EBT in 2024, with potentially more to follow in 2025. By providing grocery benefits, the Summer EBT program will center the dignity and agency of families by allowing them to choose the nutritious foods that best meet their needs.
In partnership with Feeding America food banks and neighbors experiencing food insecurity, Feeding America engaged for more than a decade in efforts to raise Summer EBT with lawmakers as a way to help ensure children in communities across the country have the food they need to thrive during the summer months.
This new program could not have started at a better time. In 2022, more than 13 million children in the US—1 in 5—faced hunger. This is a 44 percent increase from the prior year and the highest rate of child food insecurity in nearly a decade. As we saw during the pandemic, we know we can increase food security when we all work together to make sound policies a priority. Programs like Summer EBT will positively impact child food security.
Feeding America thanks members of Congress for their bipartisan support to create this vital new nutrition assistance program and the USDA and state agencies for continued efforts to successfully implement the program to help ensure children in the US are nourished and healthy year-round.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. They must have all the tools for success, including consistent access to nutritious food. The new Summer EBT program brings our country one step closer to this reality. Feeding America will continue to work alongside the communities we serve, Congress and the administration to create solutions to end hunger among all children in the US.