2024 Grocery Benefits: Helping Students Stay Nourished

As summer approaches, many students face the challenge of food insecurity due to the suspension of school meal programs. To address this critical issue, a new grocery benefit program has been launched to ensure that students have access to nutritious food during the summer months.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates that approximately 21 million children will benefit from its new summer grocery benefits program, known as Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), or SUN Bucks in certain states. Summer EBT is designed to complement existing state meal programs. For families already enrolled in benefits such as SNAP, school-aged children will automatically be included in SUN Bucks. Other families can apply for the program through USDA.gov.

Key Features of the Grocery Benefit Program

  • Monthly Allowance: Eligible families receive a fixed monthly amount to spend on groceries.
  • Wide Acceptance: Benefits can be used at various grocery stores and supermarkets nationwide.
  • Streamlined Application: The application process is designed to be quick and easy, ensuring accessibility for all eligible families.
  • Nutritional Support: The program includes guidance on healthy eating to help families make nutritious food choices.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the grocery benefit program, families must meet specific criteria, which typically include:

  • Student Enrollment: Must have a child enrolled in a K-12 school.
  • Income Requirements: Must meet certain income thresholds, often aligned with federal poverty guidelines.
  • Residency: Must be a legal resident of the United States.
  • Participation in Other Programs: Enrollment in programs like SNAP or Medicaid may automatically qualify families for the benefit.

Application Process

  1. Check Eligibility: Confirm that your family meets the age, income, and residency criteria.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect documents such as proof of income, residency, and student enrollment.
  3. Submit Application: Complete and submit the application online, by mail, or in person at designated centers.
  4. Await Confirmation: Receive notification of approval and instructions on how to use the benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is the purpose of the grocery benefit program? A: The program aims to reduce food insecurity among students by providing financial assistance for grocery purchases during the summer months.

Q: How much can families receive through this benefit? A: The monthly allowance varies by program but typically ranges from $50 to $150 per student per month.

Q: Can the grocery benefit be used at any store? A: The benefit is generally accepted at a wide range of grocery stores and supermarkets, including major chains and local markets.

Q: What if a family is already receiving SNAP benefits? A: Families receiving SNAP benefits may automatically qualify for the grocery benefit, which could supplement their existing assistance.

Q: How long does it take to process the application? A: Processing times can vary but generally take between two to four weeks from the date of submission.

Comparison of Grocery Benefits by State

StateMonthly Allowance ($)Income Threshold (% of FPL)Automatic Enrollment ProgramsApplication Method
California100150%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Texas75135%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Florida90140%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
New York120160%SNAP, Medicaid, SSIOnline, Mail, In-person
Illinois80150%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Ohio85145%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Pennsylvania95150%SNAP, Medicaid, SSIOnline, Mail, In-person
Michigan70135%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Georgia100140%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person
Arizona75130%SNAP, MedicaidOnline, Mail, In-person

How to Choose the Right Benefit Program

Selecting the appropriate grocery benefit program involves evaluating several factors:

  • Evaluate Your Needs: Determine your family’s monthly grocery expenses and compare them with the benefits offered.
  • Check Eligibility: Ensure your family meets all eligibility criteria for programs available in your state.
  • Compare Benefits: Look at the monthly allowances and additional support services provided by different programs.
  • Application Process: Choose a program with a convenient and accessible application process.
  • Seek Assistance: Utilize community resources or assistance services if you need help with the application process.


The new grocery benefit program for students in 2024 offers a valuable opportunity to alleviate food insecurity and ensure access to nutritious food during the summer. By understanding the eligibility criteria and application process, families can take advantage of these programs to support their children’s health and well-being.


  1. AARP – Benefits for Families
  2. New Grocery Benefit – this summer
  3. Medicare – Health and Nutrition Benefits for Students