(DailyDig.com) – The US Department of Agriculture stated on January 10 that about 21 million youngsters throughout the US and their territories would be eligible for summer food assistance via a recently established federal program.
According to research released in October by the USDA, around 17 million American families had encountered food insecurity in 2022. Children in our nation should not go hungry just because school lunches aren’t available in the summer, according to Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary.
Thirty-five states, four tribes, and five of the U.S. territories will participate in the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program (Summer EBT). Once the USDA tested it, Congress voted to make it permanent in December 2022, beginning in 2024.
Summer EBT will cover around 70 percent of the qualifying families, which includes households with children who are 185% or below the federal poverty level. During the summer, they will get an additional $40 a month for each child.
The USDA projects that the Summer EBT program will provide approximately $2.5 billion dollars in food benefits to families in 2024.
The Cherokee Tribe will participate as an indigenous community this summer. Housing expenses are putting much strain on families, according to Chuck Hoskin Jr., Chief, who noted that family budgets are already rather tight.
Among the states that decided to not participate in Summer EBT, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Nebraska all said that they already had programs in place.
Thomas Vasquez, the Texas HHS spokesperson, states that the program cannot be implemented this year. The state legislature had to accept the administration’s request for almost $2 million in financing before they could launch the program.
The ineffectiveness of big, redundant federal programs has led Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma to announce that his administration would provide the same service at the state level.
The program’s lack of a strong nutrition emphasis, according to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, was a major criticism. Reynolds also noted that there were not enough limitations on unhealthy food purchases.
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