Minnesota Summer EBT program launched to combat food insecurity

Seeking to help families purchase food during the summer months, Minnesota is launching a Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program that could feed up to 400,000 kids.

"The end of the school year should not mark the start of food scarcity," said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in an announcement of the program. "This program, which has been a major priority of our administration, provides a boost for families, allowing them to ensure that their children have enough food to keep them going all summer and ready to learn come fall."

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 authorized a permanent, nationwide Summer EBT program for eligible families beginning in 2024.

The program provides families with $120 per eligible school-aged child during the summer months to purchase food with funds placed on EBT cards sent to families.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 400,000 children in Minnesota could benefit from the program, bringing in an estimated $100 million in food benefits for families between the summers of 2024 and 2025.

The Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota IT Services will oversee benefit eligibility.

"As someone who utilized the free and reduced lunch program, I know firsthand the impact of food insecurity. Our kids shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from. I also know that when the school year ends, kids can fall through the cracks," said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan in a statement. "This program is a vital safety net for our children. It’s a continuation of our commitment to making life more affordable for everyone, and this program ensures that all children can stay healthy and fed all year long."