DiDomenico Celebrates New Summer Child Nutrition Program

The Healey-Driscoll administration announced recently that Massachusetts has received federal approval for its summer child nutrition program. Following the ending of Summer Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), this new child nutrition program will help feed an estimated 600,000 students while schools are closed for the summer. Low-income Massachusetts families with school-aged children will be eligible to receive financial assistance to buy groceries, bringing more than $70 million in federal funds to the state’s economy. Senator Sal DiDomenico, as an anti-hunger champion and Co-Chair of the Food System Caucus, has advocated for programs like this and is thrilled to see its implementation by Governor Healey’s administration.

Senator Sal DiDomenico celebrated the announcement of this program, “I am thrilled to see the Healey-Driscoll Administration support Summer EBT. This program builds on the successes of past food programs I have fought for, like Universal School Meals, and will help reduce child hunger during summer break. I look forward to seeing the immense benefits this program will bring to countless children and families across Massachusetts.”  

“In Massachusetts, we are not leaving federal dollars on the table that could support children and families’ food security. In partnership with our State Legislature, we made universal free school meals permanent. And with this new program, we are working to ensure children and families have access to healthy food all year long,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress for permanently establishing this child nutrition program. Massachusetts is proud to be utilizing all tools available so kids can focus on learning and play, not where their next meal is coming from.”  

The program, known as Summer EBT, will be administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and local school districts. This new program will complement the Summer Eats program, which provides free meals to all kids and teens, ages 18 and under, at locations across Massachusetts during the summer months. Some students’ families will also continue receiving regular SNAP (federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. These programs build on the Healey-Driscoll administration and Massachusetts’ food security initiatives for children, including Universal Free School Meals, Food Security Infrastructure Grants, and the MA FRESH (Massachusetts Farming Reinforces Education and Student Health) grant program.  

Eligible families will receive one payment of $120 per child between July and September, corresponding to $40 per month. Families already enrolled in SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF; known in Massachusetts as Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or TAFDC), or some MassHealth plans will be automatically enrolled in the summer child nutrition program and do not need to take any action. Families who are not automatically enrolled can apply for the program directly on DTA Connect between June 15 and September 7, 2024.

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