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Summer Lunch/Meal Benefits

Summer Lunch Benefits for EBT Holders and Summer Meals for Kids

Summer EBT Program

Vermont is among the first states to launch the new permanent Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (SEBT) program to help feed eligible school aged children during the summer vacation months.

The benefit is $120 for the summer per eligible child. Families can use the benefits to purchase groceries. The Department for Children and Families will be issuing a preloaded EBT card to those who don’t have one yet. If your household is already receiving 3SquaresVT benefits, SEBT benefits for your school-aged children will be loaded on the same card.

You will receive these benefits automatically if your child is:

Between the age of 6 and 16 at any point since July 2023 and lives in a household that receives or that received at any time since July 2023:


-Reach Up, or

-Medicaid while the family’s income was below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level

Outside of the age 6 and 16 but attends a Vermont Public School or an Independent School that participates in the National School Lunch Program and lives in a household that receives or that received at any time since July 2023:


-Reach Up, or

-Medicaid while the family’s income was below 185% of the Federal Poverty Limit

Children participating in several other assistance programs may also receive the benefit automatically.

Families who meet income guidelines but do not automatically qualify will be able to apply for the benefit in August Benefits will be mailed out starting July 15, 2024 and continuing throughout the summer.

We encourage families to wait until August before asking about eligibility as most eligible children will receive the benefit automatically. If a child is found eligible, a notice will be mailed to the household. Please keep the EBT cards as they will be used each summer for children who are eligible.

The EBT card can be used at grocery stores, farmers markets and online where EBT is accepted.

Notification and cards will be mailed to the address on file for the program that qualified the child automatically. If you get 3SquaresVT, Reach Up or Medicaid and have recently moved, we recommend updating your mailing address with these programs. This will ensure that you receive the benefit. If you don’t currently participate in these programs, your children could still get the benefit automatically if you apply for them and are approved this summer.

The Summer EBT program is different than the Pandemic EBT program. The Summer EBT program is a permanent program that has income requirements and is only available during the summer, unlike Pandemic EBT where benefits were available throughout the school year and all students were eligible regardless of income. Receiving Summer EBT benefits does not affect the family’s immigration status. Additional information, including the application which will be available in August will be posted on

If you have questions about the program, please contact DCF’s Economic Services Division at 1-800-479-6151, option 7.

Summer Meals for Kids

For information on receiving meals this summer, call 2-1-1, the United Way-run resource hotline, or go to the USDA Summer Meals for Kids Site Finder: All sites listed are open to all children, 18 and under. Information is available beginning mid-June and updates are made on a weekly basis. Some sites may provide grab-and-go meals that can be consumed off-site.