New food program in Oregon helps feed hungry kids

OREGON – The state is offering a new food program aimed at fighting food insecurity this summer.

Summer EBT is a new federal food benefits program to help families buy food for their school-aged children over the summer months.

Oregon will provide more than $35 million to around 294,000 school-aged kids starting later this month.

Food banks say summer can be especially tough on kids who rely on their schools to be fed.

“Now they’re home and they don’t have those regular resources,” said Executive Director of Klamath Lake Counties Food Bank, Lori Garrard. “So, we’re asking the public to remember that they’re having a great summer but some of these kids aren’t. So, if they could help supplement with peanut butter, jelly, those kinds of food items that would really help our kids be fed and ready for the next school year.”

The program provides a one-time payment of $120 per eligible child to buy food.

Families that participate in SNAP, TANF, or have OHP will be automatically enrolled and don’t need to apply.

Full list of school-aged children who are typically eligible: 

  • Their household already participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Oregon Health Plan (OHP, also known as Medicaid), or
  • They are in foster care, or
  • They attend a school that offers the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, and their household’s income meets the requirements for free or reduced-price school meals, or
  • They attend a school that offers the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program and are:
    • Enrolled in migrant programs
    • Experiencing houselessness
    • Participating in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
    • Attending Head Start

More details about the Summer EBT program can be found on the State of Oregon website.

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