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S. 3268 - Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2018

Sponsor: Patty Murray (D)
Introduced: 2018-07-25
Bill Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
 

Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2018

This bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require the Department of Agriculture to establish a program providing eligible households with summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards in order to give children access to food during the summer months to: (1) reduce or eliminate children's food insecurity and hunger, and (2) improve their nutritional status.

An "eligible household" is a household that includes one or more children who are eligible to receive free or reduced price meals under the school lunch or breakfast programs.

The amount on each summer EBT card is set at $150 per child in 2019, with adjustments thereafter reflecting changes in reimbursement rates for school meals under the school lunch program.

If children are enrolled to receive free or reduced price meals under the school lunch or breakfast programs, they must be enrolled in this program without further application.

Summer EBT cards may be used only to purchase food from retail food stores that have been approved for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program).

Full Text


115th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3268


    To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to establish a permanent, nationwide summer electronic benefits transfer for children program.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 25, 2018

    Mrs. Murray introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

    To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to establish a permanent, nationwide summer electronic benefits transfer for children program.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Summer electronic benefits transfer for children program.

Section 13(a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1761(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(13) SUMMER ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM.—

“(A) DEFINITIONS.—In this paragraph:

“(i) ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD.—The term ‘eligible household’ means a household that includes one or more children who are eligible to receive free or reduced price lunches under this Act or free or reduced price breakfasts under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.).

“(ii) SUMMER EBT CARD.—The term ‘summer EBT card’ means an electronic benefit transfer card that is issued to an eligible household under this paragraph and limited to food purchases.

“(B) PROGRAM.—The Secretary shall establish a program under which the Secretary shall provide to eligible households summer EBT cards for the purpose of providing access to food for children during summer months—

“(i) to reduce or eliminate the food insecurity and hunger of children; and

“(ii) to improve the nutritional status of children.

“(C) USE.—An eligible household may use a summer EBT card only to purchase food from retail food stores that have been approved for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), in accordance with section 7(b) of that Act (7 U.S.C. 2016(b)).

“(D) AMOUNT.—Each summer EBT card issued shall be in an amount of—

“(i) for calendar year 2019, $150 in food assistance per child per summer; and

“(ii) for each subsequent calendar year, the amount specified in clause (i) as adjusted to reflect changes in reimbursement rates for school meals under this Act between calendar year 2019 and the most recent calendar year.

“(E) TIMING.—Summer EBT cards shall be issued at the end of the regular school year.

“(F) FUNDING.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—On October 1, 2018, and on each October 1 thereafter, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Secretary such sums as are necessary to carry out this section, to remain available until expended.

“(ii) RECEIPT AND ACCEPTANCE.—The Secretary shall be entitled to receive, shall accept, and shall use to carry out this section the funds transferred under clause (i), without further appropriation.

“(G) REGULATIONS.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—Not later than October 1, 2018, the Secretary shall issue regulations to carry out this paragraph.

“(ii) REQUIREMENTS.—Regulations issued under this subparagraph shall require that—

“(I) children shall be eligible to participate and shall be enrolled into the program under this paragraph for a summer without further application if the children are enrolled to participate in the free or reduced price lunch program under this Act or the free or reduced price breakfast program under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) during the school year immediately preceding the summer; and

“(II) local educational agencies shall distribute to the families of all children enrolled in schools participating in programs authorized under this Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) and, to the maximum extent practicable, the families of all children enrolled in schools of the local educational agency information, as provided by the Secretary—

“(aa) regarding the program authorized under this paragraph, including eligibility rules and how children in eligible households that are not automatically enrolled under subclause (I) may apply for program benefits; and

“(bb) to assist households receiving summer EBT cards in making healthy food choices and maximizing resources.

“(iii) ALTERNATIVE TIMING.—

“(I) IN GENERAL.—In issuing regulations under this subparagraph, the Secretary shall allow alternative plans for the timing of issuance of the summer electronic benefit cards under subparagraph (D) in any part of a State in which the school year does not include a typical summer break, on the condition that the Secretary determines that no alternative plan increases or decreases Federal costs.

“(II) CONSIDERATIONS.—In developing regulations under subclause (I), the Secretary shall consider the ability of a State effectively to issue benefits under an alternative schedule.”.


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