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Biden administration expanding summer food program to feed over 30M schoolchildren

Biden administration expanding summer food program to feed over 30M schoolchildren
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the launch of a program to feed over 30 million low-income students during the summer months.

The new effort, funded by the American Rescue Plan, will provide roughly $375 to families of low-income children to buy food for the summer months when they are out of school. Low-income families are typically provided $6.82 per weekday during the school months. 

The department’s announcement expands the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT), which was established in March 2020 to feed students when schools were closed due to COVID-19.

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The administration found that summer feeding programs reach less than 20 percent of students who are fed during the school year. 

“Help is here for financially stressed families trying to put food on the table,” said Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for the Agriculture Department's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “Our nutrition assistance programs are powerful tools that are critical to America reaching a full and equitable recovery from the pandemic.”

The American Rescue Plan provided $12 billion in new nutrition assistance. It extended SNAP benefits by $1 billion per month to 25 million people and funded meals for young adults experiencing homelessness through Child and Adult Care Food Program emergency shelters, among other provisions.