Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer Alleviate Summer Hunger for 3+ Million Kids

View the full factsheet as a PDF here.

In December 2022, a bipartisan Congress created a new, permanent program to provide food dollars to low-income families with school-age children over the summer months but made it optional for states to enact. Officially called Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer, or Summer EBT, it would provide $40 per summer month per child on a debit card for families with eligible school-age children to buy groceries. $120 in Summer EBT benefits will help families close the summer hunger gap when kids are on summer break and not getting nutritious school meals.

Child hunger spikes in Texas every summer as children do not have access to free or reduced-price meals when schools close. In Texas, 2.6 million children eat free or low-cost lunch, and 1.6 million eat school breakfast every day. When schools are closed, parents often struggle to afford to replace those meals. While some children can access local summer meal sites run by some school districts or youth programs, most kids in Texas do not have an option nearby. For every 100 children who ate lunch during the school year, only 4.6 children ate a summer lunch. Children in rural and suburban areas are the least likely to have access to a summer meal site or a way to get to school when school buses are not running.

While Texas does have a law that requires high-poverty school districts to provide summer meals for at least 30 days, many smaller districts opt out because of the difficulty and cost, while others do not run the program for the entire summer.

View the full factsheet as a PDF here.

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