Summer EBT program to bolster food aid for children with new federal award to Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, today announced that Connecticut has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to run a Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children program over the next three years in an effort to explore ways to alleviate hunger among low-income children during the summer. It is one of only four states and tribal nations approved for the program.
The Summer EBT program, as it is known, is slated to bring $5.7 million in additional federal food benefits to underserved areas of Connecticut. It joins ongoing food security efforts through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Summer Food Service program, along with special projects like the recent Pandemic EBT program. Other locations selected by the USDA to receive the unique grants include Missouri, Oregon, and the Cherokee Nation.
The Department of Social Services and State Department of Education applied for the grants on behalf of the state in part because this year’s COVID-19 public health emergency has shown the need for accessible nutrition options for children, specifically during the summer months.
Connecticut’s successful application proposed to significantly expand previous approaches to serve over 31,500 additional children each summer. Previous Summer EBT demonstration projects provided $374,880 in benefits to 4,165 Connecticut children in 2017, and $458,820 in benefits to 7,647 children in 2018.
The new federal aid will reach children identified as vulnerable, including those who have the most difficult time reaching a State Department of Education summer food site because of their location or lack of public transportation. Families will not have to apply for Summer EBT assistance, which will bring an additional $60 in food benefits per child. Information about eligibility and how children are identified for the service will be available in April 2021.
For more information on the grant announcement, read the press release issued by the USDA.
[This news announcement was contined in Governor Lamont’s daily update on Connecticut’s coronavirus response efforts, November 16, 2020]