(CNSNews.com) – With a record 101 million Americans receiving food aid from the federal government, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants more kids to be on the dole for food during the summer months.
“As part of its ongoing commitment to improving access to healthy food for low income children, USDA has set a goal of serving 5 million more meals to eligible children this summer,” the agency said on Aug. 1.
The agency’s goal amounts to serving 166 million meals through its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which already gives subsidies to 3.5 million children a day during breaks from school.
“The SFSP enriches the lives of millions of low-income children in communities across the U.S.,” the USDA said. “However, it reaches far fewer children than the school programs.”
Last year, the agency provided 161 million meals, bringing the goal to 166 million government-subsidized meals served.
Kids with EBT cards
One of the ways the government will achieve this aim is by giving children subsidies on EBT cards. The USDA released an evaluation report on testing “new methods” to provide food to children in the summer, specifically through the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) program.
“As part of its efforts to end child hunger, [the Food and Nutrition Service] FNS is studying alternative approaches to providing food assistance to children in the summer months,” the USDA said.
Last summer, 66,772 children received subsidies via an EBT card from the program, which was run in eight states and two Indian tribes. Eligible households received up to $60 per month, per child.
In all, the government spent $13.2 million on the SEBTC program alone in 2012.
The stated goal of the summer EBT program is to “improve children’s food security.” Read more via CNS News...