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What's new with USDA summer nutrition programs?

USDA’s summer nutrition programs can now reach more kids than ever before. In addition to traditional in-person summer meal sites, there are two new options.

flow chart of summer programs
  • Alternate meal service options for rural communities: In rural communities when and where in-person meal service is not available, summer meal operators now have the option to provide meals via grab-n-go or delivery, also known as non-congregate meal service.
  • In-person meal sites: Meals served and eaten onsite at community centers, schools, and other central locations remain a vital part of the summer nutrition programs, providing a sense of community and enrichment opportunities for kids.
  • Summer grocery benefits: Starting in summer 2024, states, territories, and tribes can provide benefits — officially called Summer EBT — to families of eligible children for purchasing food in the summer months at authorized retailers.
Our Goals

In partnership with states, territories, tribes, community organizations, and other stakeholders, FNS is working to:

  • Increase food and nutrition security for children when school is out through effective implementation of all three approaches to ensuring children have the nutrition they need throughout the summer.
  • Promote holistic summer programming that combines access to nutritious food with recreational, educational, and other enrichment opportunities.
  • Expand the reach of summer meal sites in rural communities across the country.
  • Raise awareness of summer nutrition programs, including ensuring all families eligible for Summer EBT have access to its benefits.

FNS is committed to supporting states, tribes, and territories with resources, technical assistance, and more as communities roll out these newly available tools. Together, we can work to close the summer hunger gap and ensure children have the nutrition they need in the summer.

Page updated: February 15, 2024