WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – Massachusetts is one of ten states and one tribal nation to confirm plans to continue a new federal summer food program for children.

Millions of children get free breakfast and lunch at school through USDA programs, but may not get adequate meals during the summer. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service created the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program in 2023 to provide food assistance to families with children during the summer.

Summer EBT gives $40 each summer month per eligible child to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, or other authorized retailers, similar to how SNAP benefits are used. This program is in addition and not a replacement to other USDA summer nutrition programs including group meal service at central locations, such as schools, camps, and community centers, and grab-n-go or home-delivered meals offered in rural communities.

All students in Massachusetts can get a free breakfast and lunch at public schools. The legislature included $172 million in permanent state funding to provide universal free school meals for K-12 students in the fiscal 2024 budget.

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