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Sun Bucks Anti-Hunger Summer Program

Officials from the State Department of Human Services are calling a program affecting our region a lifeline for local children.

Our Stoker Wieczorek is looking into this for us. Stoker, what is this program, and how is it helping kids

It’s called Sun Bucks, it’s Pennsylvania’s Summer EBT Program.

It gives eligible households a one time payment of $120 for kids to buy food during the Summer.

Officials say this program stemmed from a demand of children both local and abroad needing food when school is not in session

“That Sun Bucks really serves as a helpful gap in making sure that we are comprehensive in our ways that we are making sure that our kids are fed.”

Local children in need could soon see more relief with enough food for the Summer months. Officials say childhood food insecurity is a bigger problem than most think.

This prompting Congress to establish a Summer EBT Program Nationwide in 2023. Officials tell me this is it’s inaugural year.

Hoa Pham, with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, says it’s intended to provide meals to children specifically during this time when they might not have a meal given to them at school.

“Summer Bucks is a major step forward to addressing food insecurity among children across the Commonwealth. It certainly picks up where Pennsylvania’s Free Breakfast Program leaves off, ensuring that kids have full bellies where they need to learn to grow.”

Pham says the department is thrilled to be offering the program that is now expected to be permanent.

“So we will be taking the lead to administer this program. However, we can not do it alone, and will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and school districts across the Commonwealth to administer this program as well.”

Statewide, Pham says officials expect around 9 hundred thousand kids to be fed by Sun Bucks.

She says a large portion of our region is expected to take advantage of this program, but did not tell me specifics

Information on how you can get involved in this program can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website.

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