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Education

More EBT benefits for families to buy food in the summer

There is a new push coming this summer to make sure students from low-income families get the nutrition they need.

It includes additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Under the new program, eligible parents will have extra money added to their EBT cards during summer vacation. 

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USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small visited Mission Elementary in Oceanside, on Monday, to promote the plan.

“For kids who eat school meals, it’s typically the healthiest meal that they have all day. But unfortunately in the summer that’s not guaranteed," said Torres Small at a press conference with U.S. Representative Mike Levin.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small (left) and Rep. Mike Levin (right) sample a pupusa on the lunch menu at Mission Elementary School, Oceanside, California, Feb. 12, 2024
M.G. Perez
/
KPBS
U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small (left) and Rep. Mike Levin (right) sample a pupusa on the lunch menu at Mission Elementary School, Oceanside, California, Feb. 12, 2024

Because of additional funding from the USDA, students from families who qualify for EBT now have more options for getting meals during the three-month break. Group meal sites will continue at community centers along with new grab-and-go or delivery for rural areas.

It's the bonus money being added to EBTcards that will help parents directly. The EBT boost is $40 per child for the three summer months.

Ariel Castro is a mom and a paraeducator for the Oceanside district, supporting children with special needs.

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“Some kids might feel aggravated and a lot of times kids in my classroom aren’t able to vocalize exactly that they’re hungry. But, we can tell something’s off," Castro said.

Kindergarten students eat lunch, Monday, at Mission Elementary School, Oceanside, California, Feb. 12, 2024
M.G. Perez
/
KPBS
Kindergarten students eat lunch, Monday, at Mission Elementary School, Oceanside, California, Feb. 12, 2024

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