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.

Tungkol sa Pangalawang Pag-aani ng Silicon Valley

Itinatag noong 1974, ang Second Harvest of Silicon Valley ay isa sa pinakamalaking food bank sa bansa at isang pinagkakatiwalaang nonprofit na lider sa pagwawakas ng lokal na kagutuman. Ang organisasyon ay namamahagi ng masustansyang pagkain sa pamamagitan ng isang network ng halos 400 kasosyo sa higit sa 900 mga site sa buong Santa Clara at San Mateo county. Dahil sa napakamahal na halaga ng pamumuhay sa Silicon Valley at ang kapansin-pansing pagbawas sa suporta ng gobyerno sa panahon ng pandemya, ang Second Harvest ay naglilingkod sa average na humigit-kumulang 500,000 katao bawat buwan. Ang Second Harvest ay nag-uugnay din sa mga tao sa mga programa ng pederal na nutrisyon at iba pang mapagkukunan ng pagkain, at nagtataguyod para sa mga patakaran laban sa gutom sa lokal, estado at pambansang antas. Upang matuto nang higit pa tungkol sa kung paano tumutugon ang Second Harvest sa hindi kapani-paniwalang dami ng pangangailangan sa Silicon Valley, bisitahin ang 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 o 408-266-8866, ext. 368.

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