CalFresh Summer Benefits: How Much Additional Food Stamps Are Californians Getting?

By Madz Dizon

Jun 15, 2024 02:33 AM EDT

CalFresh Summer Benefits: How Much Additional Food Stamps Are Californians Getting?
A sign noting the acceptance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that are used by state welfare departments to issue benefits is displayed at a grocery store on December 04, 2019 in Oakland, California.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The recent announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom highlights the launch of SUN Bucks in California, a federal food program initiated by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). 

This program aims to address the nutritional needs of children from low-income families during the summer break.

California's AB 120 Boosts Summer EBT Participation for 2024

It is worth noting that 14 states led by Republicans have chosen not to allocate funds for these programs, despite their professed commitment to supporting families. 

This decision will unfortunately impact the assistance available to children and families throughout their respective states.

In December 2022, a significant development took place as Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. 

According to Governor Gavin Newsom, this act introduced a new and permanent Summer EBT program, aimed at assisting families with school-age children and low-incomes. 

The program is set to commence in 2024, providing much-needed food benefits. In July 2023, California enacted Assembly Bill 120, which designated the CDSS as the primary implementing agency, working in collaboration with the CDE, to enhance participation in the Summer EBT program for summer 2024.

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California Launches SUN Bucks Program to Tackle Food Insecurity

SUN Bucks will provide $120 per child, which amounts to $40 per month, during the three-month summer period when schools are usually closed. 

This financial support is intended to address the issue of food insecurity and ensure that children have consistent access to healthy meals throughout the summer break, Marca reported.

Children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, either through a school meal application, a substitute income form, or by being enrolled in CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal, will be immediately enrolled in the SUN Bucks program.

California is leading the way by being one of the first states to implement this new food assistance program, ensuring that families in need receive financial support quickly.

California also offers the Summer Meal Programs, providing additional meal opportunities for children who are struggling during the summer months, in addition to the SUN Bucks program.

Families can easily find summer meal sites in their communities by using the CA Meals for Kids App as well as visiting the Summer Meal Service Sites webpage.

READ MORE: Californians Have Until June 30 to Qualify for Faster Student Loan Forgiveness, Lower Payments

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