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When schools close for the summer, nearly 30 million children that rely daily on USDA’s school breakfast and lunch programs lose access to these nutritious meals. Thanks to bipartisan action by Congress, States have two powerful new tools to fight summer hunger. The 2023 Omnibus, signed into law late last year, established a permanent Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) program, which will provide benefit dollars to eligible low-income families with children to purchase groceries during the summer months. Additionally, the law included a provision permitting non-congregate feeding options for summer meal programs in certain rural areas.

With both programs set to be fully operational in 2024, there are several steps states can take now to prepare for effective implementation. Please join The Education Trust and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) on Wednesday, September 6, from 12-1 pm ET, for a briefing with Food and Nutrition Service staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on implementation and next steps. Wednesday’s conversation with Agency staff is an opportunity to learn more about the steps FNS has taken to-date to prepare for successful implementation, and what actions partners can take to support.

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