Summer EBT is a new federal nutrition program starting this summer that will make a significant difference for children and families in New York. The summer months can be especially challenging for families, as many kids lose access to the healthy meals they receive at school. Summer EBT—combined with summer meal sites operating in many communities across the state—will help ensure kids are well-fed all summer and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.


Key things to know about Summer EBT:

  • Families will receive $120 in food benefits per eligible child on electronic benefit cards. This is a one-time $120 payment covering the whole summer, not a recurring monthly payment.
  • Summer EBT benefits can be used just like SNAP benefits to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other SNAP-authorized retailers.
  • Most eligible children will receive Summer EBT benefits automatically, but some will need to apply. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the lead administering agency for Summer EBT, has a dedicated webpage that can help families determine if they are automatically eligible or need to apply.
  • The Summer EBT application is available on OTDA’s Summer EBT webpage. Families who need to apply must do so by September 3 for 2024 benefits.
  • Summer EBT food benefits are expected to be issued starting later this summer and will continue through October 2024.
  • Benefits should be used quickly, as they will be expunged from the benefit card 122 days after issuance.
  • Immigration status does not affect eligibility.

Families can access Summer EBT and summer meals at the same time. These programs—along with SNAP and WIC—are intended to work together to provide greater nutritional support during the summer months.

Hundreds of schools and community organizations are serving free, healthy meals at thousands of sites across the state through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. Most sites are “open” sites, where there is no sign-up or paperwork required; kids and teens aged 18 and under can just drop by when meals are served.

Use the following tools to find sites near you:

  • Text “food” to 304-304
  • Use the map on
  • Call 211 or 311 (in NYC) or 1-866-3-HUNGRY

Key things to know about summer meals this year:

For Summer 2024, most sites have returned to in-person meal service, with kids eating together on-site rather than picking up grab-and-go meals. However, a permanent flexibility instated in 2023 has allowed some rural sites to continue to provide grab-and-go and home-delivered meals. Local program operators can provide the most up-to-date information about their meal service. The new USDA Summer Meals Finder map, available on, indicates whether a site is offering in-person or grab-and-go meals.