The Department of Agriculture Monday announced a new effort funded by the American Rescue Plan to provide adequate nutrition to more than 30 million children over the summer. The effort expands the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT benefits. USDA says summer months are difficult for low-income children because they lack access to school meals that fill a nutrition gap during the school year.
This summer, USDA will offer P-EBT benefits to low-income children of all ages. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “The expansion of P-EBT benefits over the summer is a first-of-its-kind, game-changing intervention to reduce child hunger in the United States.” P-EBT was established in March 2020 to provide food dollars to families to make up for meals missed when schools have closed due to COVID-19. The program was set to expire on September 30, 2021, but through the American Rescue Plan Act, benefits are now available for the duration of the pandemic, including during the summer months.