An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Pa. launches ‘SUN Bucks,’ providing children’s summer food benefits

Pennsylvania has launched a new federally funded program to help children in food-insecure households stay well fed over the summer.

SUN Bucks, also known as Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer or Summer EBT, provides a payment to families of children who are eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the academic year.

Pennsylvania opted into SUN Bucks this year. Under it, families will receive a one-time payment of $120 for food per eligible child. This year, because the program is starting up, payments will go out between mid-August and the end of October.

Most eligible children will be enrolled automatically, including those whose families are already enrolled in other assistance programs, including SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families); or are on Medicaid and meet income eligibility criteria.

If families already have an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, the payment will be added to it. Families without an EBT card will have a Summer EBT card mailed to them.

In some cases, children may be eligible, but not enrolled automatically. Households can learn if that’s the case by using the SUN Bucks Eligibility Navigator.

If a family needs to apply, forms are available in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF). Completed forms can be mailed to the Department of Human Services or submitted to a local County Assistance Office. The deadline is Aug. 31.

SUN Bucks will provide “critical dollars” to help families with children over the summer, Human Services Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh said.