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KIDS EAT FREE: Tennessee set to launch Summer EBT Program for 2023-24 School Year

The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) have teamed up to launch a new program aimed at providing additional nutrition benefits for families during the summer months.

The Summer EBT Program will provide eligible families with $120 for each school-aged child to purchase groceries while school is out.

According to TDHS, most families will automatically receive these benefits if their child is enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Families First (TANF), and/or TennCare. However, some parents will need to apply for the program.

The program will be funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. Summer EBT benefits will be distributed by TDHS based on records provided by TDOE, school districts, and through USDA funding.

To be eligible for the program, students in grades K-12 must have attended school in person during the 2023-24 academic year and their family must be enrolled in SNAP, Families First, or TennCare.

Students who have qualified for free or reduced-price lunch at a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participant school will also automatically be eligible for Summer EBT benefits.

Families who are not automatically enrolled but attended a NSLP-participating school during the 2023-24 school year will need to apply for the program. The application process can be completed online through the Summer EBT Parent Portal at https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent. Approval for benefits will be based on income guidelines.

Once approved, families will receive a one-time lump sum of $120 per eligible child on an EBT card. The card must be activated before it can be used to purchase groceries. The EBT card will be mailed to the eligible child’s home based on current school records.

Parents can also use the Summer EBT Parent Portal to view their child’s benefits, link their child(ren), verify or change their address, and sign up for text message notifications. For any additional questions or assistance, parents can contact One DHS Customer Service at 833-772-TDHS (8347).

For more information about the Summer EBT Program and eligibility requirements, please visit https://.tn.gov/SummerEBT.

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