United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 25, 2024

§ 1762.
Summer electronic benefits transfer for children program
(a)
Program established
The Secretary shall establish a program under which States and covered Indian Tribal organizations electing to participate in such program shall, beginning with summer 2024 and annually for each summer thereafter, issue to each eligible household summer electronic benefit transfer benefits (referred to in this section as “summer EBT benefits”)—
(1)
in accordance with this section; and
(2)
for the purpose of providing nutrition assistance through electronic benefit transfer or methods described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of subsection (b)(2)(B) during the summer months for each eligible child, to ensure continued access to food when school is not in session for the summer.
(b)
Summer EBT benefits requirements
(1)
Purchase options
(A)
Benefits issued by states

Summer EBT benefits issued pursuant to subsection (a) by a State may only be used by the eligible household that receives such summer EBT benefits to purchase food (as defined in section 3 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2012)) from retail food stores that have been approved for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under such Act [7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.] and in accordance with section 7(b) of such Act (7 U.S.C. 2016(b)) or in the nutrition assistance program in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(B)
Benefits issued by covered Indian Tribal organizations

Summer EBT benefits issued pursuant to subsection (a) by a covered Indian Tribal organization may only be used by the eligible household that receives such summer EBT benefits to purchase supplemental foods from vendors that have been approved for participation in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children under section 1786 of this title.

(2)
Amount
Summer EBT benefits issued pursuant to subsection (a)—
(A)
shall be—
(i)
for calendar year 2024, in an amount equal to $40, which may be proportionately higher consistent with the adjustments established under section 1760(f) of this title for each eligible child in the eligible household per month during the summer operational period; and
(ii)
for calendar year 2025 and each year thereafter, in an amount equal to the unrounded benefit amount from the prior year, adjusted to the nearest lower dollar increment to reflect changes to the cost of the diet described in section 3(u) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2012(u)) for the 12-month period ending on November 30 of the preceding calendar year and rounded to the nearest lower dollar increment; and
(B)
may be issued—
(i)
in the form of an EBT card;
(ii)
through other electronic methods, as determined by the Secretary; or
(iii)
in the case of a State that does not issue nutrition assistance program benefits electronically, using the same methods by which that State issues benefits under the nutrition assistance program of that State.
(3)
Enforcement
Summer EBT benefits issued pursuant to subsection (a) shall—
(A)
be subject to sections 12, 14, and 15 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2021, 2023, 2024) and subsections (n), (o), and (p) of section 1786 of this title, as applicable; and
(B)
to the maximum extent practicable, incorporate technology tools consistent with industry standards that track or prevent theft of benefits, cloning, or other fraudulent activities.
(4)
Timing
(A)
In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), summer EBT benefits issued pursuant to subsection (a) may only be issued for the purpose of purchasing food during the summer months, with appropriate issuance and expungement timelines as determined by the Secretary (but with an expungement timeline not to exceed 4 months).

(B)
Continuous school calendar

In the case of children who are under a continuous school calendar, the Secretary shall establish alternative plans for the period during which summer EBT benefits may be issued pursuant to subsection (a) and used.

(c)
Enrollment in program
(1)
State requirements
States that elect to participate in the program under this section shall—
(A)
with respect to summer, automatically enroll each eligible child who is directly certified, is an identified student (as defined in section 1759a(a)(1)(F)(i) of this title), or is otherwise determined by a school food authority to be eligible to receive free or reduced price meals in the instructional year immediately preceding the summer or during the summer operational period in the program under this section, without further application from households;
(B)
make an application available for children who do not meet the criteria described in subparagraph (A) and make eligibility determinations using the eligibility criteria for free or reduced price lunches under this chapter;
(C)
establish procedures to carry out the enrollment described in subparagraph (A);
(D)
establish procedures for expunging summer EBT benefits from the account of a household, consistent with the requirements under subsection (b)(4); and
(E)
allow eligible households to opt out of participation in the program under this section and establish procedures for opting out of such participation.
(2)
Covered Indian Tribal organization requirements

Covered Indian Tribal organizations participating in the program under this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, meet the requirements under paragraph (1).

(d)
Administrative expenses

The Secretary shall pay to each State agency and covered Indian Tribal organization an amount equal to 50 percent of the administrative expenses incurred by the State agency or covered Indian Tribal organization in operating the program under this section, including the administrative expenses of local educational agencies and other agencies in each State or covered Indian Tribal organization relating to the operation of the program under this section.

(e)
Summer EBT authority

Beginning in summer 2024, the Secretary shall not allow States to use the authority in section 749(g) of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law 111–80; 123 Stat. 2132), to provide access to food through electronic benefit transfer benefits to children during the summer months when schools are not in regular session.

(f)
Issuance of interim final regulations
Not later than 1 year after December 29, 2022, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations (which shall include interim final regulations) to carry out this section, including provisions that—
(1)
incorporate best practices and lessons learned from demonstration projects under—
(A)
section 749(g) of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law 111–80; 123 Stat. 2132); and
(B)
the pandemic EBT program under section 1101 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (7 U.S.C. 2011 note; Public Law 116–127);
(2)
ensure timely and fair service to applicants for and recipients of benefits under this section;
(3)
establish quality assurance and program integrity procedures to ensure that States and local educational agencies have adequate processes—
(A)
to correctly determine the eligibility of children for benefits under this section; and
(B)
to reliably enroll and issue benefits to eligible children; and
(4)
allow States and covered Indian Tribal organizations to streamline program administration, including by—
(A)
automatically enrolling each eligible child who is able to be directly certified; and
(B)
establishing a single summer operational period.
(g)
Administrative and management plan

Beginning in 2024, each State desiring to participate in the program under this section shall comply with the requirements under section 1761(n) of this title.

(h)
Definitions
In this section:
(1)
Covered Indian Tribal organization

The term “covered Indian Tribal organization” means an Indian Tribal organization that participates in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children established under section 1786 of this title.

(2)
Eligible child
The term “eligible child” means, with respect to a summer, a child who—
(A)
was, at the end of the instructional year immediately preceding such summer or during the summer operational period—
(i)
certified to receive free or reduced price lunch under the school lunch program under this chapter;
(ii)
certified to receive free or reduced price breakfast under the school breakfast program under section 1773 of this title; or
(iii)
able to be directly certified;
(B)
was, at the end of the instructional year immediately preceding such summer—
(i)
enrolled in a school described in subparagraph (B), (C), (D), (E), or (F) of section 1759a(a)(1) of this title; and
(ii)
(I)
an identified student (as defined in section 1759a(a)(1)(F)(i) of this title); or
(II)
a child who otherwise met the requirements to receive free or reduced price meals, as determined through an application process using the eligibility criteria for free or reduced price meals under this chapter; or
(C)
has been determined to be eligible for the program under this section in accordance with subsection (c)(1)(B).
(3)
Eligible household

The term “eligible household” means a household that includes at least 1 eligible child.

(4)
Supplemental foods
The term “supplemental foods”—
(A)
means foods—
(i)
containing nutrients determined by nutritional research to be lacking in the diets of children; and
(ii)
that promote the health of the population served by the program under this section, as indicated by relevant nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns, as determined by the Secretary; and
(B)
includes foods not described in subparagraph (A) substituted by State agencies, with the approval of the Secretary, that—
(i)
provide the nutritional equivalent of foods described in such subparagraph; and
(ii)
allow for different cultural eating patterns than foods described in such subparagraph.
(June 4, 1946, ch. 281, § 13A, as added Pub. L. 117–328, div. HH, title IV, § 502(c), Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5990.)
cite as: 42 USC 1762