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District Announces Opening of DC SUN Bucks Application for Summer Food Support for Families

Monday, June 3, 2024

Benefits set for distribution over the summer to increase access to food among District families with students. 

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the District announced the opening of the application portal for the DC SUN Bucks program. DC SUN Bucks is the new benefits program replacing the summer pandemic program, Summer EBT. SUN Bucks provides food access support for students over the summer months. This program will help close the summer hunger gap when students do not have access to nutritious school meals. Eligible students will receive a one-time $120 EBT benefit to purchase food when school is out. 

“The District was able to pre-approve more than 45,000 children based on their family's participation in SNAP or TANF,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Director of the Department of Human Services. “SUN Bucks is part of building a strong District food system with access for all.”

SUN Bucks will benefit all DC students, Pre-K and up, who live in a household with an annual income less than or equal to 185% of the federal poverty level and attend a school participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program. For example, students in a household of three people earning at or below $45,991 annually ($3,833 monthly) would be eligible for SUN Bucks. Students in a household of four people earning at or below $55,500 annually ($4,625 monthly) would also be eligible. Some students will get these benefits automatically and do not need to apply—students receiving SNAP or TANF are preapproved. Families who are not preapproved for SUN Bucks will need to submit a short, online application. 

“SUN Bucks is a wonderful addition to summer nutrition programs and will help ensure children receive access to food and be able to thrive over the summer break," said Food Policy Director Caroline Howe. “It will also support the District’s local food economy by bringing much needed federal dollars to our farmers, grocers, and healthy corner stores.”

The District will distribute almost $10 million in benefits from USDA to an estimated 80,000 students, and Mayor Muriel Bowser has already committed the necessary $1.6 million for local administrative costs.

The benefits will be provided on a new Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) card and can be used to buy food at any authorized SNAP retailer, like grocery stores and farmers markets. Benefits will be available to use for four months after they are issued. 

Residents can review eligibility guidelines and apply for the program at