Second Harvest is urging families to file a “free and reduced-price meals” form at school—an easy way to become eligible

With the launch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new anti-hunger Summer EBT program, known as SUN Bucks in California, an estimated 5.1 million school-aged children in California will receive money for nutritious groceries when schools are closed for the summer and children lose access to school meals.

As part of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley’s commitment to connect kids and families to food assistance resources, the organization is shining light on this benefit and alerting Silicon Valley families to be sure they have provided their income information (often via a “free and reduced-price meal” form) and current address information to their child’s school. Children from low-income households will be eligible for SUN Bucks. (Children who are age 6 – 18 years and already get CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal are also automatically eligible).

“We know that nutritious food is essential for children to learn and grow, and that need doesn’t stop during the summer,” said Tracy Weatherby, Second Harvest’s VP of Strategy & Advocacy. “Families who meet the income thresholds can receive $120 on a debit card for each child to help pay for food during the summer. This support can help family budgets during the months when children are not getting meals at school.”

SUN Bucks can be used to buy healthy food at places like grocery stores, farmers markets, and some online retailers. Families who haven’t already filled out an income information form, such as a “free and reduced-price meal” form or “alternative income” form, can inquire with their child’s school. Using SUN Bucks benefits will not affect a family’s immigration status.

“One in three children in Silicon Valley is at risk of food insecurity,” said Susan Ellenberg, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “We know that food insecurity contributes to negative health and academic outcomes. SUN Bucks is geared to help fill the gap during the summer. The program will make it easier for families to provide the nourishment kids need today and contribute to a brighter future tomorrow.”

In addition to helping families learn about SUN Bucks, Second Harvest can connect people to a variety of food resources, including free grocery distributions in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and assistance applying for federally funded food assistance programs like CalFresh. Anyone who needs food should call Second Harvest’s multilingual Food Connection hotline at 1-800-984-3663, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Staff speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog. Three-way interpretation is available for other languages. Second Harvest also offers an easy-to-use food locator tool on its website at shfb.org/get-food where users can search by address, city or zip code to find food nearby.

À propos de Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

Fondée en 1974, Second Harvest de la Silicon Valley est l'une des plus grandes banques alimentaires du pays et un leader à but non lucratif de confiance dans la lutte contre la faim au niveau local. L'organisation distribue des aliments nutritifs via un réseau de près de 400 partenaires répartis sur plus de 900 sites dans les comtés de Santa Clara et San Mateo. En raison du coût de la vie prohibitif dans la Silicon Valley et de la réduction spectaculaire du soutien gouvernemental en période de pandémie, Second Harvest dessert en moyenne environ 500 000 personnes chaque mois. Second Harvest connecte également les gens aux programmes fédéraux de nutrition et à d'autres ressources alimentaires, et plaide en faveur de politiques de lutte contre la faim aux niveaux local, étatique et national. Pour en savoir plus sur la manière dont Second Harvest répond aux besoins incroyables de la Silicon Valley, visitez shfb.org

If you are a member of the media covering issues related to hunger in Silicon Valley, we can provide expert spokespeople who can talk about the local landscape.

Media please contact Diane Baker Hayward at dbakerhayward@shfb.org ou 408-266-8866, ext. 368.

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