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Summer Nutrition Program for Kids

A healthier future for our country begins with our children. Unfortunately, many children face hunger during the summer when they lose access to school meals. Children need good nutrition to grow, learn, and thrive. There are new tools to address summer hunger, including Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT), and a new flexible way to offer meals to children living in hard-to-reach, rural communities.

This year there are Three Ways to combat summer hunger!

  1. In-person group meal service
  2. Summer EBT called SUN Bucks
  3. To-go/Delivery meal service in rural area’s

SUN Bucks will work with Hot Lunch Summer to feed our kids in Maine, this summer SUN Bucks will help families receive $120.00 for each of their school aged children.

If eligible, you can use SUN Bucks benefits to buy foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains, and dairy at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other places that accept EBT benefits.

Your child is eligible for SUN Bucks if your household already participates in SNAP, TANF, FDPIR, or attends a school that offers National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program and your household income meets the requirements for free or reduced-price school meals.

Many families will get SUN Bucks automatically if you are getting other benefits, but some families may need to apply for the program. If your family already participates in SNAP, TANF, FDPIR, or is Homeless, Migrant or receives MaineCare with a verified annual income under 185% of the Federal Poverty Level, your child will be automatically enrolled in the program. If you are not automatically enrolled and believe your children are eligible, you can get a SUN Bucks application below:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

You will not need to provide any other documents of information to apply. Applications must be received by August 15th to qualify SUN Bucks.

  • For households that are currently enrolled in SNAP, the benefits will be automatically uploaded to their existing EBT card known as the PineTree card.
  • Children who were previously recipients of P-EBT and are not enrolled in SNAP will receive their benefits on their existing P-EBT card.
  • Children eligible for SUN Bucks, not enrolled in SNAP and who have never been enrolled in P-EBT, will receive a PineTree card containing the allocated distribution.

This is important as some households may need to request replacement cards, to access these benefits. Benefits must be activated within 45 days of receipt, and are removed from the card 122 days after issuance regardless if they have been used.

We anticipate the Notice of Decision will be mailed to households, in mid May. Please wait to see if you get a letter before you do anything else. If you do not receive a letter, you may reach out to the number/email listed above. Applications will be available in late May.