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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would continue and expand the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children pilot program, an effective demonstration program that has proven to reduce hunger among children in the summer months. The amendment would provide funding to continue the 14 demonstration sites, including one in Vancouver, Washington, and add new pilot sites in urban and rural areas around the country to help more children gain access to critical nutrition in the summer months. Without this amendment, funding for this successful pilot program will end.

During the school year, millions of students from low-income families have access to free and reduced-price meals at school, but during the summer months, many of those same children lose access to regular meals. This pilot program helps families afford groceries during the summer months to replace the meals that children would otherwise get at school. In the demonstration areas, this program has proven to decrease summer hunger by up to 33 percent in the summer months.

“Kids shouldn’t have to spend the summer months wondering when they’ll get their next meal. We have to do more to fight summer hunger,” Senator Murray said. “Continuing and expanding this successful pilot program is a critical step to make sure more children get the nutrition they need to grow, learn, and thrive.”

Senator Murray recently introduced the “Stop Child Summer Hunger Act” that would scale up this pilot program. Read more about that legislation here.