Wisconsin Summer Meal Plan Gets Approval

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Wisconsin’s plan for the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program. This will help families feed kids over the summer months. Wisconsin is the first in the nation to get this federal approval.

Created by Congress, the Summer EBT program is based on similar efforts used during the coronavirus pandemic to address food insecurity for kids.

“Making sure our kids have enough to eat is critical for supporting their success in and out of the classroom. Unfortunately, when school is out, many families lose access to one of their most reliable sources of healthy meals,” says Gov. Tony Evers. “This program will be a tremendous asset in helping ensure families can afford quality, nutritious food to fill these gaps.”

According to USDA, the Summer EBT program provides grocery-buying benefits to low-income families with children of school age during the summer months when schools are closed. Summer EBT benefits will come in the form of pre-loaded cards that families can utilize to buy groceries.

Most families eligible for these benefits will get them automatically. For each eligible child identified, the state will provide a one-time summer benefit of $120. The USDA set this standard benefit amount for the 2024 program year. These benefits will go to families in late June.

EBT stands for electronic benefit transfer. It’s a reference to how families get the assistance. Dollars come on a pre-loaded debit card used to buy food at grocery stores and other places that accept FoodShare. Families who already have a QUEST card or a P-EBT card will get the benefits on their existing card. Families who don’t already have a card will be sent one in the mail with their benefits pre-loaded. All families will also get a letter in the mail informing them about the benefits they received.