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Minnesota launches Summer EBT program

Minnesota launches Summer EBT program

By Scout Nelson

Governor Tim Walz today introduced the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program in Minnesota, designed to assist families in purchasing food when school is out for the summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has indicated that this initiative could benefit over 400,000 children, injecting roughly $100 million in food benefits into the state between the summers of 2024 and 2025.

"The end of the school year should not mark the start of food scarcity," Governor Walz emphasized. This statement underlines the critical nature of the program in preventing child hunger during the summer break.

Lieutenant Governor Flanagan shared her personal experiences with food insecurity, underscoring the program's importance: “Our kids shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from.”

Each eligible child will receive $120 to spend on nutritious food items such as fruits, vegetables, meats, whole grains, and dairy. The funds will be available on EBT cards distributed to families towards the end of July or the beginning of August.

Education Commissioner Willie Jett highlighted the continuity the program offers: “We’ve seen the benefits free school meals have given to students and families.” This continuity is vital for maintaining nutrition and learning through the summer months.

Assistant Human Services Commissioner Tikki Brown also commented on the seasonal challenges, noting, “Summer can be difficult for families who rely on school meals to help feed their children.”

The program aims to alleviate this stress, ensuring children remain healthy and focused, which is foundational for year-round success.

The logistics of the program will be managed jointly by the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and Minnesota IT Services. Eligibility will be automatically determined for families already enrolled in programs like SNAP and MFIP, among others.

Families not automatically enrolled can inquire through their local schools or school districts to determine eligibility and benefit from this critical support.

Photo Credit: usda

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Categories: Minnesota, Government & Policy

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