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Kansas DCF launches program offering $120 for hungry students over summer

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Kansas DCF launches program offering $120 for hungry students over summer

May 23, 2024 | 12:22 pm ET
By Rachel Mipro
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Kansas DCF launches program offering $120 for hungry students over summer
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The Kansas Department for Children and Families announced on Thursday a new program meant to help students during the summer, when free and reduced-price school lunches aren't available for Kansas students. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Families that need food assistance during the summer could see relief through the state’s new student-geared program.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families on Thursday announced Summer EBT, a program meant to help families struggling with food costs for school-aged children during the summer. 

DCF Secretary Laura Howard said families sometimes felt more strain during the summer months, when children no longer have access to school-provided free and reduced-price meals. 

“Children and teens need healthy food year-round to play, grow and learn,” Howard said. “Summer EBT will help families stretch their grocery budget during the summer and provide their children with the nutrition they need to thrive.”

Families with a household income meeting the requirement for federal free or reduced-price school meals at Kansas schools can receive $120 per eligible child for grocery costs through Summer EBT.

The Kansas State Department of Education reported 49% of Kansas public school students, or 235,096 public school students, were approved for free and reduced-price lunch in the 2023-2024 school year. Other eligible children include any school-aged child who received food assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or foster care benefits during the school year.

The program is a partnership between DCF and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Benefits are set to roll out in mid to late July. By the end of that month, benefits will be issued automatically to DCF-identified eligible children. For families who already receive EBT, the summer benefits will be automatically added to their EBT cards or loaded onto a card and mailed.