Washington SUN Bucks Summer EBT Program

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Joint News Release 5/13/2024 -- New SUN Bucks Program Supports Summer Food Access for Washington Children

Washington state's SUN Bucks plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 2024. State funding has been approved by the Washington State Legislature. To issue SUN Bucks, USDA approval and state funding must be approved. Check back frequently for updates.

What are SUN Bucks?

In December 2022, the federal government authorized a new permanent, nationwide Summer EBT program – also known as SUN Bucks – to support children who lose access to free and reduced-price school meals during the summer monthsSUN Bucks is separate from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and provides $120 in food benefits to each eligible child. This amount may be adjusted annually. Similar to SNAP, SUN Bucks is a flexible food benefit that families can use to buy food to help offset rising food costs. Using SUN Bucks also helps bring additional dollars into local economies.

How do children receive SUN Bucks?

Once approved by USDA, approximately 550,000 Washington children will meet the eligibility requirements to receive SUN Bucks benefits for summer 2024. Certain children will automatically qualify depending on specific school and / or public assistance program enrollment criteria. Children who do not automatically qualify may submit an application. Specific details will be provided once the state plan has been approved and funding is provided.

What else should I know about SUN Bucks?

Summer EBT/SUN Bucks complements other USDA nutrition programs like SNAP, summer meal programs and Women, Infants and Children. In Washington, SUN Bucks will be co-managed by the Department of Social and Health Services and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

How much money will each child get?

Each eligible child will receive a one-time payment of $120 in food benefits on a dedicated SUN Bucks card.

When will children get SUN Bucks?

We plan to issue SUN Bucks beginning mid-June through the end of August 2024. Within this period, children may receive benefits at different times depending on how they qualify. Once qualified, children will receive an approval notice and SUN Bucks EBT card within seven to 10 business days via U.S. Mail. We will share more information on benefit issuance timelines soon.  

Do these benefits expire?

Yes. SUN Bucks benefits expire and are removed 122 days from issuance. Unlike SNAP EBT, SUN Bucks are removed regardless of usage. Once benefits are removed from an EBT card, they cannot be replaced. (So use these benefits first!)

What about P-EBT?

SUN Bucks may seem similar to Pandemic EBT, but is a separate program. P-EBT ended along with the federal public health emergency in May 2023. For more information on P-EBT, please visit www.dshs.wa.gov/pebt.

How do I learn more?

We are working out implementation details and will have more information soon. USDA has approved the state plan and the Washington State Legislature approved the state funding required to match the federal funding. This website is the primary source of information and will include regular updates.