During the school year, many children receive meals through the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). When summer begins, these children lose access to healthy meals and their nutritional needs are not met when the schools close. Over the past four years, ARCHS has participated in a national demonstration pilot program to address this issue.
Since 2012, ARCHS' partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of Missouri has provided 14,472 area children in the Saint Louis Public Schools District access to a food benefits program during the summer, while making a $1.96 million impact on the local economy, through Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC). On average, families participating in the ARCHS' program used 92% of the food benefits funding available to them in order to provide healthy meals for their children.
This summer, ARCHS' SEBTC pilot program will assist more than 9,000 area students through an existing partnership with the Saint Louis Public Schools and a new partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to serve children living in Ferguson.
SEBTC is a benefit designated for children who attend pre-k through 12th grade and also receive free or reduced-price school meals in the SBP/NSLP during the school year. The households chosen through ARCHS' pilot program receive extra funding per month per child for the summer months and prorated amounts for the partial months when school ends in the spring and resumes at the end of summer.