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USDA Awards Child Nutrition Summer EBT Grants

$34 million allows four multi-year projects

Press Release
Release No.
FNS 0016.20
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced up to $34 million in Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) grants to continue exploring ways to alleviate hunger among low-income children during the summer. USDA is awarding the grants to four grantees who will be able to continue projects and serve eligible children for the next three summers.

“USDA Summer EBT grants allow states to be innovative, testing new ways to reach children with limited access to food during the summer months,” said Brandon Lipps, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “This year's national public health emergency has shown the need for agile nutrition assistance programs that can reach hildren in need wherever they are.”

Data-driven evaluations of previous projects have found that Summer EBT can significantly reduce very low food security among children by one-third. By enabling a multi-year approach, these grants will provide the states and tribal nations with more time and certainty to build and refine their projects, while making investments that will improve Summer EBT in years to come.

Background:

Children and teens' nutritional needs do not take a summer break. Summer EBT helps close the nutrition gap children face when schools let out for summer, and they no longer receive the meals they relied on throughout the school year to help ensure they can return to school ready to learn in the fall.

Summer EBT provides a monthly benefit to low-income families with children on a debit-type card that can be used throughout the summer for food purchases at stores in their community. Summer EBT is a complement to traditional summer meals programs and has proven especially practical in areas with limited or no access to traditional summer meal programs.

At the direction of Congress, USDA selected states and tribes that previously operated Summer EBT demonstrations in 2018. These grants will allow them to continue their projects in order to innovate and provide deeper insights into effective program operations.

  • Cherokee Nation: Food Package Project
  • Connecticut: Debit Card Project
  • Missouri: Debit Card Project
  • Oregon: Debit Card Project

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. Follow us on Twitter at @USDANutrition.

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10/30/2020