December 28, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $200 Million for Summer Meals to Feed 2 Million Low-Income Children in New York

Governor Hochul Announces More Than $200 Million for Summer Meals to Feed 2 Million Low-Income Children in New York

New York State Will Participate In Federal "Summer EBT" Program To Provide Food Benefits To Eligible Students During The Summer Months

Summer EBT Will Help Low-Income Families Provide Healthy, Nutritious Meals for Children When Schools Are on Summer Break

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced more than $200 million for summer meals for approximately 2 million low-income school-aged children in New York. Following Governor Hochul's decision to opt New York into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children (Summer EBT), more than $200 million in federal funding will be allocated to New York.

“Our kids need healthy, nutritious food to grow and thrive,” Governor Hochul said. “This new federal funding will be a critical lifeline for families struggling to make ends meet.”

The program is aimed at reducing hunger and food insecurity among children who are unable to access free and reduced-price school meals during the summertime. Eligible families with school-age children will receive $120 per child during the summer months. Approximately 2 million New York children are expected to qualify. More information on eligibility and benefit issuance will be available in the coming months.

Governor Hochul has committed to covering 50 percent of the administrative costs of operating the program, as required by the federal government. USDA will cover the other half.

Research has shown that providing families with summer food benefits reduces childhood hunger while promoting better nutrition. A demonstration project tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the pandemic found that Summer EBT decreased the number of kids with very low food security by one-third.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "No child should have to worry about having access to healthy, nutritious meals when school is out of session for the summer. We know that hunger never takes a vacation, and thanks to the Summer EBT initiative, over 2 million children across New York who rely on school meals during the year will get the assistance they need while on summer break. I am proud to help deliver this more than $200 million in federal funding to ensure our low-income families have access to healthy food year-around, and I commend Governor Hochul for her commitment to combatting food insecurity in communities across the Empire State.”

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “We are grateful to Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of our agency operating Summer EBT. This program will help us ensure that students whose families rely on school meals during the year can continue to access healthy foods when school is out of session for the summer by simply using an EBT card to purchase food.”

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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