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Summer EBT — A Tested and Effective Strategy to Reduce Summer Hunger

Resource type
Technical Assistance & Guidance
Fact Sheets
Summer EBT is a proven game-changer in the fight against child hunger

Summer EBT is evidence-based policy at its best! Research shows that providing families with summer grocery benefits reduces child hunger and supports healthier diets.

USDA tested Summer EBT as a demonstration project in select states for several years. Rigorous evaluations showed that Summer EBT decreased the number of kids with very low food security by about one-third! When kids are food insecure, they may skip meals or eat less because there isn't enough food to go around. Other findings included:

screenshot of sebt results

In addition, during COVID states and territories operated a temporary program similar to Summer EBT, which demonstrated the potential of expanding the program nationwide. Research found that this program:

  • Decreased children's food hardship by more than 30% after benefits were issued.
  • Lifted at least 2.7 to 3.9 million children out of hunger.

In December 2022, a bipartisan Congress created a new, permanent program for states and tribes to provide food dollars to low-income families with school-age kids over the summer months. This program, officially called Summer EBT, will help close the summer hunger gap when kids are on summer break and not getting nutritious school meals.

Starting in summer 2024, states and tribes can provide $40 per month per child to families with eligible school-age children for them to buy groceries, similar to how SNAP benefits are used. Summer EBT will work hand-in-hand with other USDA nutrition programs to connect every eligible child with nutritious food in the summer.


Summer EBT works. Let’s join forces to make this new permanent program a success and ensure every child has the nourishment they need in the summer months.
Page updated: December 01, 2023