Summer Benefits Program Will Boost Access to Nutritious Food for Colorado Kids

Organic farm vegetables in wooden box, vegetarian food concept child hands. High quality photo

The Colorado Department of Human Services has announced more than 300,000 eligible students will receive increased access to nutritious meals during the summer months through participation in the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program.

Beginning this year, the Summer EBT program will provide eligible families with $120 per eligible student through a one-time payment ($40 per month of summer break). Benefits will come in the form of pre-loaded cards that families can use to purchase groceries.

“We’re excited to be part of the Summer EBT program and happy we’re going to be able to help more than 300,000 Colorado kids,” said Karla Maraccini, Food and Energy Assistance director. “These benefits, along with other available nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP, WIC and summer meal sites, will help ensure that kids have access to nutritious foods during the summer months when school isn’t in session.”

Summer EBT is a new, permanent program based on USDA’s Summer EBT for Children demonstration projects and Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), which have been proven to reduce child hunger and improve diet quality. Colorado is expected to provide $30 million to $35 million in benefits to eligible students.

Who is eligible for Summer EBT?

  • Students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals while attending a school participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
  • Students who are receiving other assistance benefits, including SNAP, Medicaid or Colorado Works (TANF).

What do people need to do to get Summer EBT?

  • Many families will automatically receive Summer EBT through enrollment in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program and their prior eligibility for Colorado Works (TANF), SNAP and Medicaid services. Families with eligible students will be mailed a notice of eligibility for each individual student. If you are not automatically enrolled and believe your students are eligible for 2024 Summer EBT benefits, fill out an application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals (NSLP application) at your student’s school by Sept. 14, 2024.
  • All families should make sure their address and contact information is up to date with their student(s) schools to ensure timely issuance of benefits, accurate mailing of the Summer EBT card and eligibility information.

The CDHS Food and Energy Assistance Division (FEAD) administers the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program exists to safeguard the health and well-being of low-income, financially eligible households by providing food assistance benefits redeemable for food items at authorized retailers. If you are not currently participating in SNAP and are interested in learning more about enrollment, please visit

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate