Overview: The 2023 omnibus spending bill allocates $40 million to establish a permanent summer EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) program for families with children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches and makes summer meals programs more accessible in rural areas. The bill was signed into law on December 29th, 2022. The program will start in the summer of 2024.
The goal is to ensure healthy food access for children during the summer months.
How it works: two provisions will increase food access for food-insecure children during the summer months.
- Families with children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch will receive a $40 grocery benefit per child per month when school is out for the summer. Eligible children will be automatically enrolled in the program.
- Summer meal programs in rural areas will be able to provide children with up to 10 meals at a time to eat at home, rather than their having to consume the meals at a specified time and place. These programs can offer meals to be delivered to the child’s home, or the family can pick up the meals from a designated location.
Check the document Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023