In a major step towards ending childhood hunger, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a sweeping expansion of a new summer-long grocery benefit program for kids set to launch in summer 2024. This initiative marks a significant milestone in the fight against child hunger, particularly during the challenging summer months.
Summer can be a critical time for many families, as children lose access to many school meals. This program is poised to help fill that gap, ensuring that children maintain a healthy diet throughout the summer break.
Thirty-five states, five territories, and four tribal nations are on board to implement this program. It's a groundbreaking effort to provide nearly 21 million children with access to essential groceries during summer when school meals are not available. Families across the country are expected to receive nearly $2.5 billion in grocery benefits.
This victory did not happen overnight. Made permanent last December building on the proven impact of pandemic-era programs, these summer benefits are a policy win that No Kid Hungry has been advocating for over a decade.
Since the announcement of the program, teams have been working tirelessly to prepare states for a timely rollout. This includes extensive technical assistance for state agencies, raising awareness and advocating for federal and state support. A partnership with Code for America has led to the development of a playbook to facilitate system changes and outreach to eligible families.
It doesn’t stop here - now we turn our efforts to making sure the program is implemented in a way that truly meets the needs of families and reaches all eligible children, while working hard to make sure that all 50 states opt-in in the future.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this collective win - your support has been instrumental to achieving this milestone for children and families across the county.
Together, we are making strides towards a future where no child goes hungry.
Ways You Can Continue Helping:
Donate:1 dollar can help provide 10 meals for kids in need. Your support will help us fund meal programs all over the country and help us advocate for policies that will help kids get the meals they need.
Speak up for kids: 1 in 5 kids in the United States is affected by hunger. Tell your lawmaker to protect SNAP and other federal nutrition programs that feed kids.