“This just makes sense. Making sure families have additional grocery benefits during the summer months is an effective and proven way to prevent kids from going hungry when schools are out,” says Davis.
Contact: Meredith Jorss, email@example.com
Washington, DC - This morning, the United States Department of Agriculture announced it would extend Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits through the summer. P-EBT provides grocery benefits, approximately $34 a week, to help parents cover the costs of the free or reduced price-meals their kids would normally receive in school. And, according to the USDA announcement, "P-EBT builds on lessons learned from USDA's Summer EBT pilots," which "have proven successful at reducing severe food insecurity as well as improving the quality of children's diets." The following is a statement from Share Our Strength Senior Vice President Lisa Davis about what this means for children and their families.
“Today’s announcement from the USDA is more good news for kids in our nation.
"Pandemic EBT is a practical, efficient way to reach more kids with the food they need when they are not in school. It works alongside programs like summer meals, WIC and SNAP to give states and communities the resources and flexibilities they need to combat hunger, especially in the summer months.
"Making sure families have an additional grocery benefit during the summer months just makes sense. Kids face a higher risk of hunger during the summer. Before the COVID pandemic, only about 1 in 7 children who received free or low-cost school meals was able to access meals in the summer due in part to challenges like transportation, scheduling and even weather. P-EBT provides a direct benefit to families, which helps to overcome these challenges and get food to kids.
"These benefits are especially essential in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, when millions of families continue to face increased financial strain and hardship. It also provides a strong return on investment; summer hunger is linked to summer learning loss (also known as the “summer slide,”) as well as a higher likelihood of illnesses and emotional stress.
"This summer, P-EBT will help parents purchase more of the food their kids need, when they need it. As Congress begins the process of reauthorizing the child nutrition programs, we urge them to make closing the summer meal gap a priority and build on the demonstrated success of P-EBT and other flexibilities.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 6 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.