New York State Summer EBT Food Benefits: Who is Eligible & How to Redeem Them

Here is what to know about Summer EBT Food Benefits in NY
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New York State Summer EBT Food Benefits: Who is Eligible & How to Redeem Them

School is out for summer, but hungry bellies don’t take vacations. Starting this month, New York State is providing eligible families with food benefits via the new Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program to alleviate grocery bills when schools are closed and children do not have immediate access to free school meals. The benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, farmer’s markets and other SNAP-authorized retailers, which can be located here

Each eligible child will receive $120 in Summer EBT food benefits for 2024. Eligibility for these benefits is based on household income. You can check to see if your household matches the income eligibility guidelines here. Students who are not automatically eligible may be able to receive Summer EBT food benefits by completing an application online, which must be submitted by September 3, 2024. 

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Most households do not need to apply for Summer EBT food benefits because the child is already eligible and will receive benefits automatically. A child might be automatically eligible for the Summer EBT food benefits if they receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Temporary Assistance (cash) benefits, or are directly certified for free meals through Medicaid, in addition to being deemed eligible by their school based on household income. 

Summer EBT food benefits will be issued mid-July through October 2024. Automatically eligible K-12 students who attend public school will receive benefits first, followed by those attending private, religious or independent schools, and lastly by those who applied for eligibility online. 

If your child received food benefits on a Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) card in the past year and is automatically eligible for the Summer EBT benefits, the funds will be issued on that card. Otherwise, a new EBT card will be issued to each eligible child. Families who are automatically eligible will receive a letter this summer further explaining how to receive these benefits. Some families might also receive a text message from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance when benefits are issued.

Families receiving benefits on existing P-EBT benefit cards should check their card balance at Those receiving benefits on a new or replacement card will receive it via mail within 4 to 6 weeks.

Once you’ve secured your child’s EBT card, be sure to keep it in a safe place as they won’t be replaced if lost or stolen. Families can use EBT food benefits for up to 122 days after the date they were issued. 

NYC Free Summer Meals

The Summer EBT program won’t affect New York City’s annual Free Summer Meals program, which distributes free breakfast and lunch throughout designated public locations in NYC communities like pools, parks and libraries every summer to anyone 18 years old or younger, no questions asked or ID needed. This program runs June 27 through August 30 (except for July 4 & 5). 

The full list of free breakfast and lunch locations in NYC can be found here. These locations distribute breakfast from 8am to 9:15am and lunch from 11am to 1:15pm.

In addition to these locations, food trucks serving free summer meals seven days a week can be found in Manhattan at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, in Brooklyn at Prospect Park (Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue) and in the Bronx at Ferry Point Park (Schley Avenue and Hutchinson River Parkway).

What’s on the menu? Check it out here:

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