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SUN Bucks launches but public awareness is low

Missouri and 34 other states will be launching SUN Bucks, a summer nutrition program to help feed kids. Only 12% of St. Louis adults surveyed (and 11% of those with children under 18 in their home) had heard about SUN Bucks in the last week. 

What is SUN Bucks? 

When approved in Missouri, SUN Bucks, also known as Summer EBT, will provide eligible families with $120 per child to help buy groceries in the summer.  SUN Bucks will be loaded onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and can be used to buy fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, bread, cereals, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks. 

Why is it needed?

Many families with school-age children rely on school lunch and breakfast programs to get their kids nutritious meals. When school is out, replacing those meals is a challenge. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) launched SUN Bucks on May 21, 2024, to help fill this summer gap.  

Who is eligible for SUN Bucks? 

Your child is eligible if: 

  1. They are school-age and your household already participates in SNAP, FDPIR, or TANF; or 
  2. They attend a school offering the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, and your household income meets the requirements for free or reduced-price school meals. 

Most families will automatically receive SUN Bucks if they are receiving other benefits. St. Louis families not receiving other benefits can still apply online or by calling 855-373-4636. Applicants need to provide information about their income and their child(ren). Residents can sign up for email alerts and updates at tinyurl.com/MOSuNBucks 

Help spread the word about SUN Bucks.

Of 510 adults surveyed in St. Louis and four other states, only 21% had heard about SUN Bucks in the last week. If you know anyone who might benefit from help buying groceries to feed their kids this summer, please share the resources below.

In person or to-go meal sites serving free nutritious meals to kids and teens can also be found at the USDA SUN Meals website.

Click here to a view printable PDF about SUN Bucks.

Survey information

This week’s report is based on responses from a panel of 501 adult residents of St. Louis, MO (n = 148), Baltimore, MD (n = 174), Omaha, NE (n = 89), and Colorado (n = 99) surveyed June 1-3, 2024. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

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Help spread the word about the SUN Bucks program! 🌞 SUN Bucks will help Missouri kids get nutritious meals. Visit the USDA 🌐 or call 📞 855-373-4636 for details.

#iHeardSTL #STL #SUNBucks #SummerNutrition

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