Summer EBT: Grocery Benefits for You and Your Kids

Food prices are high and many of us need extra support with groceries. Below are resources available to support your family to afford food right now and ensure your kids have the food they need to thrive. 

Meals served at summer site

Summer EBT: Extra grocery money during the summer

Summer EBT (in some places called SUN Bucks) is a new program that provides grocery benefits each summer to families with school-aged children. Children and families can participate in both Summer EBT and   summer meals, as well as other benefit programs like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

If you're eligible, you can get $120 for each of your children for the summer.  Benefits are provided on an electronic card that you can use to shop at grocery stores, farmers markets and online. (Benefit amounts are different in Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and in programs operated by Tribal Governments.)

Receiving Summer EBT does not affect you, your child or your family’s immigration status and will not make you a public charge. 

Many children will get and receive Summer EBT benefits automatically. But some families will need to apply to receive benefits. 

  • Generally, a child is automatically eligible if they are approved for free or reduced price school meals by application or are in a household participating in benefit programs like SNAP (food stamps). These children will receive benefits automatically. 
  • If this is not your situation, you need to apply to receive Summer EBT. To qualify, your family must meet the income guidelines and your child must be enrolled in a school operating the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program. Most public and charter schools and some private schools operate these programs. 

Many states are operating Summer EBT in 2024, but not all states. Summer EBT will operate slightly differently depending on where you live, so please make sure to connect with the specific information for your state/territory/Tribe below to learn about how to qualify and if you need to apply.

Learn about Summer EBT in your State

SNAP helps parents feed their families

Grocery benefits for your family year round

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) provides monthly grocery benefits on an electronic card to purchase food from places you normally shop - like grocery stores, farmers markets or online. 

Benefits can be up to $973 a month for a household of four (benefits amounts are different in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). 

Any U.S. citizen and certain lawfully present non-citizens can receive SNAP benefits if they qualify. The program is available nationwide and in some U.S. territories. To qualify for SNAP, your household’s income has to be below a certain amount based on your state’s requirements.

Learn more including how to apply for SNAP where you live  

Applying for and receiving SNAP will have no immigration consequences for those who apply or their families.

Apply for SNAP:

Step 1:

  • To learn more about eligibility visit or text “Food” to 74544
  • To receive SNAP, you need to apply in your state. To find your state’s application information visit:
  • You can apply online, in-person, over-the-phone or by mail. 
  • To get the process started, you only need to submit your name, a signature, and an address (you can use any safe address or many local organizations, like a shelter, allow their address to be used for SNAP applications).

Step 2: 

  • The application process usually requires an interview with an eligibility worker either in-person or over-the-phone. 
  • You may be asked to provide documentation such as a form of identification and proof of income (like a paystub). You can get help with providing this information or alternative options if you do not have these. 

Step 3:

  • Once you are approved, a SNAP card will be provided to you by mail or in-person.


mom and child shopping at grocery store

WIC: Food for expectant families or families with babies and young children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides food, education and support for women who are pregnant or postpartum, caregivers, infants, and children up to age 5. 

WIC provides nutritious foods based on dietary needs such as dairy, fruit and vegetables, whole grains, baby food and infant formula. Benefits are available on an electronic card and are used to purchase food at WIC authorized stores.

Caregivers (including fathers and grandparents) with low to medium incomes are eligible for WIC. Check to see if you are eligible for WIC.

WIC is available nationwide including in U.S. territories and through Native American Tribal Governments. To apply for WIC, you need to set up an appointment with your local provider. Find your local WIC provider

How to use grocery benefits

Summer EBT, SNAP, and WIC programs provide grocery benefits on an EBT card – an electronic card that operates like a debit card.

Benefits can be used at places you normally shop like stores, farmers markets, and online. For Summer EBT and SNAP, these locations can be found here.

WIC works with select retailers that are able to provide the specific foods required as part of their program. Each state provides a comprehensive list of stores and markets that accept WIC.

The ability to purchase items online with grocery benefits happened in recent years. Summer EBT and SNAP can be used for online grocery shopping with a variety of participating stores and grocery delivery providers.