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USDA Launches New SUN Bucks Program

The USDA has launched a new, permanent program to provide food assistance to children and families during the summer. The SUN Bucks program will officially launch in summer 2024! SUN Bucks will provide grocery-buying benefits to qualifying families with school-aged children during the summer months when schools are on summer break. SUN Bucks is sometimes referred to as Summer EBT.

SUN Bucks benefits are issued to debit-like cards (EBT cards) that families can use to purchase nutritious food. Beginning in summer 2024, families will receive $120 per eligible child for the summer period.

SUN Bucks is the newest addition to North Carolina’s Summer Nutrition Programs and aims to provide a convenient way for students to access nutritious food during the summer. SUN Bucks is designed to work together with the other summer meal programs operated by NCDHHS’ partner agency, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

There are also assistance programs available year-round, including Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) and the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). More information on these programs can be found in the SUN Bucks FAQs section. Some families will have to apply for the SUN Bucks program, but many students will automatically qualify for the program. Children will automatically qualify if they already participate in any of the following programs:
Free or Reduced-Price (FRP) meals at school because they have an approved FRP application at school, or
Food and Nutrition Services (FNS, food stamps), or
Work First (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), cash assistance), or
Medicaid with household income below 185% of the federal poverty level, or Foster care.

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