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Summer Meals

Illinois is launching a new program this summer to help you feed your children when school is out.

 

Summer EBT provides families with a monthly grocery benefit to feed their children for three summer months (June, July, August) when children are not receiving free or reduced-price meals at school. In summer 2024, families will receive a one-time benefit of $120 for the summer for each eligible child. Benefits are distributed on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card and can be used at any grocery store that accepts LINK cards.

 

Summer 2024 is the first-time benefits for Summer EBT will be issued to eligible children and they are currently estimated to be issued in August. Families will have 122 days from issuance to use the benefits.

Summer EBT is similar to Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) that was offered to eligible families during the pandemic, but the eligibility and application process will be slightly different and not all students who received
P-EBT will automatically receive Summer EBT.

 

If my child is enrolled in Summer EBT, can they still participate in free summer meal programs?

Yes. You can get Summer EBT even if your child is getting free meals at school, camp, or other places this summer.

How do I find other summer meal programs this summer?

 

  • Families can text “FOOD” (or “COMIDA”) to 304-304.

  • Families can also contact the USDA National Hunger Hotline operated by Hunger Free America. The hotline can be reached Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) (for English) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE
    (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish).

Does it really matter what your child is eating?

There are benefits to good nutrition.  Kids who eat better do better in school because they are able to learn better.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0047272700001183

 

Children who eat more fruits and vegetables as kids grow into adults who eat more fruits and vegetables.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622750/

 

Instead of making food decisions for them we need to teach them how to make smart choices on their own.  https://www.kitchngiggles.com/does-childhood-nutrition-even-matter/

We Got You Illinois helps Illinois residents get connected to nutrition assistance programs by providing information about all nutrition programs in one place, including how programs work, who is eligible, and how to apply.

The full website is launching summer 2024. We Got You Illinois is an initiative of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger.

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