Jeniffer Solis, Nevada Current
January 5, 2024
Children in Nevada will receive permanent food assistance while out of school starting this summer.
Nevada households are now on track to receive the benefits in the summer of 2024 — the program’s inaugural year — according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, which will oversee the program.
Nevada successfully submitted its intent to participate in the program to the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week, before the Jan. 1 deadline.
The new permanent summer nutrition assistance program for children, known as Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer, will provide families with $40 each summer month per eligible child to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, or other authorized retailers.
Joining Nevada in the program’s inaugural year are 22 states, including neighboring California, Arizona, and Utah. Four U.S territories and two Tribal Nations have also joined the program in its first year.
Currently, all Nevada children will receive free universal school meals throughout the 2023-2024 school year, after state lawmakers agreed to $28 million in American Rescue Plan funds towards free school meals.
Summer EBT will work similarly to the existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Children who qualify for free- or reduced-price meals at schools will automatically be eligible for the Summer EBT benefits, according to the USDA.
Children living in households participating in other income-based federal assistance programs, like SNAP, will also be eligible for the additional summer benefits.
The program is the first federal nutrition program passed by Congress in decades. Congress passed bipartisan legislation in late 2022, making Summer EBT permanent for states that opt-in.
The Summer EBT program is entirely federally funded, but states must cover half of all administrative costs. Officials for Nevada’s Division of Welfare and Supportive Services said they do not anticipate roadblocks in obtaining funding to run the program.
Once implemented nationwide, Summer EBT is expected to benefit more than 29 million children, reducing food insecurity for the nation’s most vulnerable households.
Summer EBT is meant as an additional benefit and will not replace other federal programs that connect eligible children with food assistance during the summer months, including group meal service at central locations and grab-n-go or home-delivered meals in rural communities.
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