Beshear announces approval of summer food program for Ky. kids

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 14, 2024

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Now that the school year is done, Gov. Andy Beshear says Kentucky has been approved to provide food to approximately 450,000 school-age children who are eligible for a one-time, federally funded benefit of $120 for the summer period to purchase food.

The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (SEBT) program will enroll students ages 6 to 18 who currently receive benefits through programs offered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program or Kinship Care. Of the 450,000 students, approximately 80% will automatically be enrolled in the program and can expect $120 to be issued by June 30.

“Team Kentucky believes we have a moral duty to make sure no child goes hungry, and this program helps meet the goal by filling the meal gap while schools are closed for summer break,” Beshear said. “I am proud of this step we are taking to strengthen the health of our youngest citizens.”

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Students not automatically enrolled but who attended schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program with household incomes at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify. Kentuckians who believe they should qualify but have not received the $120 issuance by June 30, have from June 25 through Aug. 15 to apply at Parents and guardians can also call 855-306-8959 or visit a local Department for Community Based Services office for assistance.

“Food is a basic need,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander. “Supporting children, families, communities and grocers is the right thing to do. I want to thank all those who join us in lifting up our children and families to be stronger and healthier. Thank you for embodying the spirit of Team Kentucky.”

Kentuckians who are facing hunger are encouraged to visit to find nearby food assistance sites or call the United Way helpline at 211.

“My faith teaches me that food is lifegiving and meant to be shared,” Gov. Beshear added. “From the miracle of fishes and loaves to the Last Supper, we are called to feed and care for each other.”