Department of Agriculture Announces Summer EBT Grants, Includes New States and Communities

The grants will explore ways of alleviating hunger among low-income children during the summer

Department of Agriculture Announces Summer EBT Grants, Includes New States and Communities
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June 30, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will award $31.5 million in grants designed to help low-income children.

The Grants

The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) Grants will explore ways of alleviating hunger among low-income children during the summer.

Evaluations of on-going projects have found that these grants can reduce very low food security—the worst form of food insecurity—by significant amounts.

"Summer EBT can help close the summer 'nutrition gap' faced by low-income households, when schools are closed and their children no longer have access to healthy school meals," said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Yvette Jackson. "This is particularly true in areas that are difficult to serve through existing summer meals programs, such as rural locations or areas where transportation options are limited."

Out of children who take part in the National School Lunch Program—which provides free and reduced-price school meals to almost 22 million low-income children—during the school year, only about one in six participates in summer meal programs at this time.

The Grant Recipients

For the summer of 2017, the department is awarding grants to 11 states and tribal nations: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and the Chickasaw and Cherokee nations.

"Studies show that additional resources provided by Summer EBT enable families to eat significantly more fruits, vegetables and whole grains – key building blocks to better health," Jackson said. "Based on these successes, it makes sense to continue exploring ways to maximize this proven resource and the grants announced today will help do that."

At this time, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the Summer Food Service Program, the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).