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New state program helps feed SLO County families during the summer

San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market
Courtesy of the City of San Luis Obispo
SUN Bucks can be used to purchase food at grocery stores and any San Luis Obispo County Farmer’s Market.

Families dealing with food insecurity in San Luis Obispo County are now able to receive extra aid thanks to a new summer program. It’s called SUN Bucks, or Summer-EBT, and it’s a new state-wide food stamps program running from June to August.

Families enrolled in California’s food stamp program could receive an extra $40 per month from June through August, totaling to about $120 per child. It’s to help parents buy food for each child in their family.

Tara Kennon is with San Luis Obispo County’s Public Health Department. She said many children who would receive SUN Bucks rely on school meals for proper nutrition.

“During the summer months, this program helps make sure kids are still able to get that nutrition they need,” Kennon said.

Children who also receive other state benefits or discounted school lunches will qualify for the program. Kennon said that eligible families do not need to fill out any forms and will be automatically sent an Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, debit card. Families who do not receive state food assistance can apply for the program at their child’s school.

SUN Bucks can be used to purchase food at grocery stores and any SLO County Farmers' Market. They are also able to participate in Market Match, a program at farmers' markets where vendors match the amount EBT users pay for fresh produce, giving them extra tokens to spend on food.

KCBX Reporter Sarina Grossi is a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo graduate. At Cal Poly, she worked as a news anchor and reporter for KCPR Radio and as the Digital Manager for Mustang Media Group. Sarina was editor-in-chief of her community college newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, do arts and crafts, and go to thrift and antique stores.
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