The Biden administration just announced the launch of a summer food program to feed more than 30 million low-income children.
It is just the latest attempt by the new administration to address food insecurity in the U.S.
“Congress, through the American Rescue Plan, expanded this program to operate during the summer, which I think was just highly responsive to what we need right now,” said Stacy Dean, the deputy undersecretary of agriculture for food, nutrition and consumer services. “We know that summer hunger is a problem in normal years, but obviously this year, with heightened food hardship as a result of the pandemic, we’re happy to deploy the program this summer.”
Under the plan, as many as 34 million children will receive about $375 each to buy food. For many children, the only real meal they have is the one provided by free school lunches.
The new card — called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, cards –has the same limits as SNAP benefits. They can be used to buy fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, breads, cereals and some other foods. (They can’t be used to buy items like alcohol, tobacco, medications, hot foods or any nonfood items.)