‘SUN Bucks’ Launch to Feed Kids During School Break


HARRISBURG- A new federal program called Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), nicknamed “SUN Bucks,” has launched in Pennsylvania, providing additional food assistance to low-income families with school-aged children.

The program, authorized by Congress in December 2022, aims to address food insecurity during summer months when children lose access to free or reduced-price school meals. Eligible families will receive $120 per child for the summer to purchase groceries.

Eligibility for SUN Bucks is primarily based on a child’s participation in free or reduced-price school meal programs, or if their family receives benefits such as SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid. Many eligible children will be automatically enrolled, while some families may need to apply.

The benefits will be distributed via EBT cards, similar to those used for SNAP benefits. Families can use these cards to purchase groceries at authorized retailers, including many grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and even some online platforms like Amazon and Walmart.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration announced the state’s participation in the program, with benefits expected to be issued to all eligible children.

SUN Bucks cannot be used for non-food items, hot prepared foods, or alcohol. The benefits must be used within 122 days of being loaded onto the card. Advocates hope this program will help bridge the nutritional gap many children face during summer months, potentially reducing food insecurity and improving overall nutrition for millions of American children.

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