Arkansas Launches New Program to Improve Food Access for Kids During Summer Break

May 13, 2024 | Blog


This summer Arkansas is launching Summer EBT, a new grocery benefits program that provides families $120 for each eligible school-aged child to buy groceries when school is out.

Summer is a time when many children lose access to the no cost and reduced-price meals they get at school, and households might need a little extra help putting meals on the table. Some families will receive these benefits automatically, but some parents will need to apply. The new program is in addition to free meals that kids of all ages can get at summer meal sites in their communities.

Benefits of Summer EBT:

  • Helps parents and caregivers buy healthy foods for their children.
  • Gives families the flexibility to select foods that fit their culture and lifestyle.
  • Improves food security and diet quality for participating children.

Children are eligible for the program if:

  • the household already participates in SNAP and TEA, OR
  • the child attends a school that offers the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, and the household income meets the requirements for free or reduced-price school meals.

Enrollment: Many families will get Summer EBT automatically if they are getting other benefits, but some families may need to apply.

  • If the household already participates in SNAP and TEA, they will be automatically enrolled in the Summer EBT program. Households do not need to fill out an application.
  • If the household is not automatically enrolled and may be eligible, they can get Summer EBT benefits by filling out an application.

To learn more about filling out an application, visit

How it Works: The benefits will be provided on an EBT card and can be used to buy groceries. Families will receive $120 per eligible child for the summer. Benefits can be used at authorized retailers, like grocery stores and farmers markets, to purchase healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, meats and other protein sources, whole grains, and dairy. Visit to learn more.

Help Families in Your Community: Spread the word to families in your community! Let households know about the new Summer EBT program and encourage families who may have eligible children to apply. Learn more at this link:

Children and teens need healthy food year-round to play, grow, and learn. Summer EBT will help families stretch their grocery budget during the summer and provide their children with the nutrition they need to thrive.

Visit to learn more about this new program. Together, we can make summer brighter for our children.

“This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.”