For families facing food insecurity, summer has long marked a time when kids no longer have easy access to breakfast and lunch at school. Many parents and caregivers have to come up with at least 10 additional meals per week, per child.

This year, Oregon is taking critical steps to ensure children have access to vital nutrition during the summer months by declaring its intention to operate the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) program in 2024, its first year as a permanent federal program. (Read the full press release here)

The federal government will fund all of the food benefits, estimated at $35 million per year, and half the administrative costs.

“Community leaders in Oregon have spent the last ten years piloting, shaping and winning a permanent, nationwide Summer EBT program,” said David Wieland, Policy Advocate at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “Now it’s in the state legislature’s hands to provide administrative funding and unlock the $35 million in federal food assistance for Oregon’s children and families.” 

What is Summer EBT?
Summer EBT will provide $120 per child (approximating $40/month) on a new or existing EBT card to help supplement summer meals programs for students from low-income families.

Who is eligible?
Children who participate in SNAP, TANF or Medicaid will be directly certified, and families will also be invited to fill out an application to qualify via income. The specifics of administering the program haven’t been finalized yet, but we expect that schools will send home an application to families. 

Make sure to sign up for the Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon email newsletter and follow us on Instagram or Facebook for updates. In the meantime, write to your members of legislation telling them how important this program will be in supporting the wellbeing of Oregon’s youth.