“Today, I’m more confident than ever that we have the tools available to end summer hunger,” said Davis.
Contact: Johanna Elsemore, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Department of Agriculture has released its interim final rules guiding states on implementation of rural non-congregate meals and the new Summer EBT program. The following is a statement from Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President for Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign.
“Summer has traditionally been the hungriest time of year for kids, but it doesn’t have to be that way any longer. The two historic modernizations of the Summer Meals program finalized today have the potential to close the summer meal gap for millions of kids across our nation.
“Summer EBT complements the existing summer meals program by directly providing families a grocery benefit to ensure kids eligible for free and reduced price meals have nutritious food at home when they can’t receive meals at school. Participating children will receive benefits of $40 per month each month school is out.
“However, states are running out of time to opt in to offering the program this summer, and many still haven’t. Agencies must notify USDA of their intention to operate Summer EBT by January 1, and submit their full implementation plans by February 15. More than 30 states, territories, and tribal nations have announced their intent to launch this summer, and we anticipate more to do so in the coming days.
"We are calling on every single state to opt-in by the quickly approaching deadline. Summer EBT is a critical investment in our kids, and no state can afford to sit on the sidelines.
“The nationwide non-congregate option for summer meals in rural communities is another huge win for the 8 million kids living in rural areas, many of whom cannot get to a summer meal site because of distance and lack of transportation. These permanent flexibilities will be a game changer and have a proven impact in reaching kids with the meals they need to grow up healthy and strong.
“Today, I’m more confident than ever that we have the tools available to end summer hunger, and we will continue to support our state agency, school nutrition and non-profit partners to maximize both of these essential programs.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But millions of kids in the United States live with hunger. 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.