ARCHS' Summer Food Program to Serve 4,600 Children

More than $700,000 Impact on Local Economy Expected

ARCHS' partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State of Missouri will provide 4,600 St. Louis children in the Saint Louis Public School District (SLPS) access to healthy meals this summer, while making more than a $700,000 impact on the local economy in Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC) benefits.

SLPS families selected for SEBTC benefits will receive $60 per month per child in June and July, and a pro-rated amount in May and August based upon the school district's schedule. The benefits expire when school resumes in August because eligible children will then have free and reduced price meals available during school hours.

Last summer, families participating in the ARCHS' summer program used 93 percent of the funding available to them.

All households in the demonstration areas with children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade who received free and reduced price meals at school were qualified to be considered for SEBTC. Because this was a demonstration project, only families who were randomly selected last spring to receive the benefit are participating this year. USDA requires the project to be evaluated each year by a national research firm, resulting in a report to the U.S. Congress.

Using the existing EBT system, this demonstration project tested the most effective way to provide food to low-income children during the summer when school is not in session and children do not have access to school meals.

This is one of the largest demonstration projects undertaken by the USDA.  Lessons learned from Missouri’s project will inform decisions at the federal level about how to best address childhood hunger during the summer months when school meals are not available. This program is not open to the general public and not accepting additional applications.