Summer EBT Program: Free Meals and Grocery Benefits with SNAP Benefits in 31 States

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Free and reduced-price school meals are now automatically available to children in Medicaid households, and they will also receive additional grocery benefits throughout the summer.

The U.S. and the Medicaid Demonstration Project started the project, known as Direct Certification. 

The Department of Agriculture and most states are now able to apply to participate.

According to a press release from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Direct Certification will also make the new Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program (Summer EBT) more accessible to children. 

Summer EBT is scheduled to launch in 2024.

A total of 38 states are currently engaged in a USDA project, representing 91% of K-12 students nationwide. 

In the 2019-2020 school year, the initiative enabled states to directly certify over 1.4 million students for free and reduced-price meals using Medicaid data. 

The program, praised by officials such as Tom Horne, Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction, has streamlined the process, ensuring thousands of additional students receive free school meals without the need for individual applications from their families.

Read Also: Arizona Initiates Child-Related Payments to Taxpayers: Clarifying Notions on ‘Stimulus’

$40 Monthly Grocery Benefits for Students in Eligible Households

Summer-EBT-Program-Free-Meals-And-Grocery=Benefits-With-SNAP-Benefits-In-31-State
Free and reduced-price school meals are now automatically available to children in Medicaid households, and they will also receive additional grocery benefits throughout the summer.
The US and the Medicaid Demonstration Project started the project, known as Direct Certification.

Families with students automatically qualified for free school meals will receive $40 per child per month in grocery benefits during the summer months, provided they reside in states, territories, and Tribal Nations taking part in the Summer EBT program.

The statement mentioned that children residing in households enrolled in other income-based federal assistance programs, such as SNAP, are automatically eligible for free and reduced-price school meals and Summer EBT benefits. 

According to government data highlighted by the nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry, 42% of individuals participating in the SNAP program are children. 

Additionally, research indicates that children receiving SNAP benefits experience better health outcomes, academic performance, and an increased likelihood of graduation.

In the coming school years, new states will have the chance to initiate this project.

Read Also: SNAP Assistance in Chicago: What to Know About December Payments

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