President Joe Biden and his administration have announced their plan to launch what is to be the largest summer food program in U.S. history. The plan is funded by the American Rescue Plan will assist in providing more than 30 million low-income families. In addition, the Agriculture Department will continue with the free school lunch program, which was set to expire in September, will be extended to 2022.
Stacy Dean, the deputy undersecretary of agriculture for food, nutrition and consumer services said, “Congress, through the American Rescue Plan, expanded this program to operate during the summer, which I think was just highly responsive to what we need right now” Dean continued, “We know that summer hunger is a problem in the normal years, but obviously this year, with heightened food hardship as a result of the pandemic, we’re happy to deploy the program this summer.”
The summer food program will provide up to 34 million children, each with $375 to buy food for the 10 weeks during summer break. The money breaks down to about $7 a day.
Children under six who already receive benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and children who qualify for reduced-price lunch will be enrolled automatically. Parents or Guardians will receive the cards, known as Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, in the mail, directly from state agencies. The P-EBT will have the same limitations as SNAP benefits. Items such as fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, breads and cereals are acceptable for purchase while alcohol, tobacco, medications, prepared hot foods and paper-products are not accepted.
IVOX NEWS by Jack Babin