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SPLC Action Fund and Coalition Partners Urge Gov. Reeves & State Legislators to Fund Summer EBT Program

JACKSON —Today, in a letter to Gov. Tate Reeves, State John Read and Rep. Briggs Hopson, a broad coalition of Mississippi advocates, including the SPLC Action Fund, urged state leaders to fund the 2024 Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program. Mississippi is one of 15 states now opting out of the program that provides benefits over the summer months for children in households experiencing food insecurity.

The letter notes, “For thousands of kids, summer break signifies the loss of access to school lunches, which often serve as their primary source of nutrition … This failure to provide basic food security for children — the most vulnerable members of our communities — will have repercussions that cannot be ignored.”

In Mississippi, an estimated 175,000 children under the age of 18 were living in poverty in 2022, with 40% of those being Black children. According to USDA estimates, 300,000 children in Mississippi are eligible for Summer EBT. Participation would provide our state nearly $38 million in federal food assistance dollars to distribute to families with children experiencing food insecurity, ensuring that children have access to fresh, healthy foods and a hunger-free summer.

Read the full letter HERE.