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SUN Bucks

SUN BUCKS SUMMER EBT IS COMING TO LOUISIANA!

For some Louisiana students receiving free or reduced-price school lunches, summer time means the loss of nutritious school meals. In addition to the newly expanded summer feeding options, SUN Bucks help fill the gap by providing grocery benefits to help families put meals on the table when schools are closed.

WHAT ARE SUN BUCKS?

Starting in summer 2024, Louisiana SUN Bucks, also referred to as Summer EBT, will provide families with $120 for each eligible school-aged child (5 to 18 years old) to buy groceries during the summer break.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SUN BUCKS?

Most eligible families will get SUN Bucks automatically, but some parents will need to apply.

The following children are eligible to receive SUN Bucks summer benefits and will be automatically enrolled in the program. There is no need to apply.

These children may be eligible to receive SUN Bucks but must apply to determine eligibility:

  • Children experiencing homelessness.
  • Migrant children.
  • Children who receive free or reduced-price lunch, but did not complete an application.

Even if your family doesn’t fall into one of the categories listed above, your child may still be eligible for SUN Bucks based on your family’s income.

HOW ARE SUN BUCKS ISSUED?

The SUN Bucks program will be rolled out in three phases beginning in late June 2024. Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for updates. And be sure to follow DCFS on Facebook, X/Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest news!

Phase 1: Launching in June 2024! Children who received SNAP benefits during the 2023-2024 school year are eligible for streamlined certification and will be automatically enrolled. SUN Bucks benefits will be added to their existing SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card beginning in the second half of June 2024.

Phase 2: More information coming soon!

Phase 3: Keep checking back for updates!

WHAT DO FAMILIES NEED TO DO?

It is important that families ensure their mailing address is up-to-date on their SNAP, FITAP and/or Medicaid case, and with their child’s school. EBT cards will be sent to the mailing address that is on file.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?

How do you apply for SUN Bucks?

Applications will be available on this site in late summer.

Where can you use SUN Bucks?

SUN Bucks work just like SNAP, with benefits loaded onto an EBT card. You can use your SUN Bucks to buy food like fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains, and dairy at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and other places that accept SNAP benefits, including some online retailers.

How long do you have to use your child’s SUN Bucks?

SUN Bucks benefits must be used within 122 days of being loaded to your card. Any unused benefits on your card after 122 days will expire. Expired benefits cannot be replaced or put back on your card.

How old is school-aged?

Children aged 5 to 18 years old are required to attend school in Louisiana, and are considered “school-aged.” Children whose birthdate falls between August 15, 2005, and July 1, 2018, are eligible to receive SUN Bucks for summer 2024.

My child is homeschooled, will they receive SUN Bucks?

Only homeschool or virtual school families that receive SNAP, FITAP, KCSP, or Medicaid are eligible to receive SUN Bucks.

Is SUN Bucks the same as P-EBT?

No, SUN Bucks is a new program that provides additional food assistance to families with school-aged children during the summer months. The Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program provided benefits to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has now ended. Some students who were eligible for P-EBT will not be eligible for SUN Bucks.

If my child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school (where all students get free lunch), will they automatically qualify for SUN Bucks?

Maybe. Only students who have individually applied and been approved for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program, or students enrolled in SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid (with household income below 185% of the federal poverty level) during the 2023-24 school year are automatically eligible for SUN Bucks. All other CEP students who may be income-eligible must complete an application when it opens later this summer.

My school-age child received SNAP benefits during the 2023-24 school year, but our case closed. Will my child receive SUN Bucks?

Yes. Your child will receive SUN Bucks benefits on the existing SNAP EBT card if the child received SNAP benefits during the 2023-24 school year. Make sure your address on file is up to date. If you lost your household’s SNAP EBT card, call 1-888-997-1117.

Will my child’s SUN Bucks benefits go on their P-EBT card?

No. If your household does not have an existing SNAP EBT card, your child will be issued a new EBT card for SUN Bucks benefits.

Will my child get SUN Bucks if they received P-EBT benefits?

Maybe. SUN Bucks may seem similar to Pandemic EBT, but is a separate program. Not every child who received P-EBT will receive SUN Bucks.

Will I receive one card for all children or separate cards for each eligible child?

Households will receive one card per eligible child. Each card will be pre-loaded with the full $120 benefit.

I no longer have our household’s existing EBT card. How do I get a replacement?

If you lost your household’s SNAP EBT card, call 1-888-997-1117, visit www.LifeInCheckEBT.com, use the LifeInCheck EBT app or use CAFE to request a replacement card. If your case was recently closed, you must call 1-888-997-1117.

Do I need to save my child’s card from year to year?

Yes. Eligible children who do not have existing SNAP EBT cards will receive an EBT card with their name on it. Please hold onto these cards for next summer.

If my child attends a program with meals provided through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) am I still eligible for SUN Bucks?

Yes, SUN Bucks is an extra benefit to help stretch your grocery budget when school is out for summer. You can use it even if your child gets free summer meals through other programs. You can call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (or text 914-342-7744 with the keyword “summer meals”) to find the free meal service location closest to you.

Are there immigration status restrictions to receiving SUN Bucks?

SUN Bucks is available regardless of citizenship or immigration status and will not affect your current immigration status.

Additional Resources

SUN Bucks is just one option to make sure Louisiana children get the healthy food they need to thrive year-round. SUN Bucks joins existing summer feeding programs available in our state, including the USDA’s SUN Meals summer meals program. To find a SUN Meals summer meal site near you, visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.

Learn more about SUN Bucks

Visit the USDA site: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sebt.

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