USDA launches new children’s summer nutrition programs and promotional toolkit


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Julia Cortina

Legislative Associate
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Rachel Mackey

Legislative Director – Human Services & Education | Veterans & Military Services

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Key Takeaways

On May 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of “SUN Programs” to help improve nutrition security for children during the summer months. County leaders can connect eligible residents with these enhanced summer nutrition resources by participating in the agency’s “More Summer Smiles” campaign.  

What’s included in the SUN Programs?

  • SUN Bucks, the new evidence-based Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program, provides a grocery benefit of $120 per income-eligible school-aged child this summer. Children participating in free and reduced price school meals and other public assistance programs will likely be automatically enrolled in SUN Bucks, or apply directly through their state agency. To find out if your state is participating in SUN Bucks, visit this USDA map.
  • SUN Meals are served at schools, parks, community centers, and other neighborhood locations, and are often paired with enrichment activities for children. SUN Meals are available to any child aged 18 and under at participating sites, which can be identified via USDA’s new Summer Meals for Kids Site Finder for a growing number of states.
  • SUN Meals To-Go, launched last year, offers pick-up and delivery options in some rural areas when and where SUN Meal sites are not available.

Take Action: As trusted voices in the community, county leaders can promote USDA’s summer nutrition programs to their residents through the new SUN Programs Promotional Toolkit to access free, downloadable materials and resources including social media content, web banners, flyers, posters, newsletter content, and more. Materials are available in multiple languages.

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