Summer Food Programs
If you or someone you know is struggling to afford nutritious food, let’s talk. There are some great programs going on in our community this summer that can help. Here is an overview of some helpful programs.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Basic Food, is a great place to start for help with food purchases. SNAP is a year-round program, but currently has some added options.
- SNAP Produce Match: Every time you spend $10 on fruits and vegetables with your SNAP/EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) benefits at a participating grocery store, you’ll get a $5 SNAP Produce Match coupon for your next shopping trip.
- SNAP Market Match: You can double your SNAP/EBT benefits to spend on fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets, up to $40 per day (check with the market to see how much they’ll match).
- The Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program is available this summer to children who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals during the current school year (2020–21), and whose school was closed or had reduced in-person hours. Families can get extra food benefits for each eligible child. Families who use P-EBT can also get extra benefits through SNAP Market Match and SNAP Produce Match.
Go to Washington Connection for an online tool that can help you find the benefits you’re eligible for. The form takes about 15 minutes to complete. For P-EBT, visit the Pandemic-EBT page or call the P-EBT Contact Center, 833.518.0282.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides healthy food and a lot more for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, and for children under 5. Starting June 1, WIC participants will get a temporary increase to $35 per person per month for four months. This can be used to purchase fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) allows eligible WIC participants to shop at authorized farmers markets and farm stores for locally grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut herbs. Participants can use their FMNP benefits from June-October. Contact your WIC clinic to ask about getting WIC FMNP checks.
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides a monthly benefit for nutritious food from June 1-October 31. Participants can enroll through Catholic Charities’ Food for All program and can use it at local farmers markets for fruit, vegetables, and honey.
USDA Summer Meals Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Meal Programs runs June-August and supplies a grab and go breakfast and lunch for children 18 and younger (no application required). To find locations you can visit the Summer Meals Locator Map or the Spanish Summer Meals Locator Map, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 for English and “Comida” to 877877 for Spanish, or call 866-3-HUNGRY (866.348.6479) for English and 877-8-HAMBRE (877.842.6273) for Spanish.