Summer EBT Playbook

How to implement a human-centered Summer EBT program in 2024 and beyond

calendar_today December 2023

A comprehensive, free resource designed to help state agencies plan for and implement a human-centered Summer EBT program

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Cover of the Summer EBT playbook

In 2022, Congress established Summer EBT—the first new, permanent federal food assistance program in almost 50 years. The authorization of Summer EBT represents a historic investment in the nutrition and well-being of the almost 30 million children who will qualify for the program.

Summer EBT is designed to reduce childhood hunger by providing families with a monthly grocery benefit to feed their kids during the summer months when they’re not receiving meals at school. If implemented effectively, this program has the potential to dramatically reduce the long-standing increases in child hunger that are seen nationwide each summer.

But states that piloted Summer EBT or operated Pandemic EBT programs in the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic know that getting these benefits into the hands of families will involve overcoming complex challenges related to data and technology. That’s why Code for America and No Kid Hungry, a campaign of Share Our Strength, joined forces to create the Summer EBT Playbook: a comprehensive, free resource designed to help state agencies plan for and implement a human-centered Summer EBT program.

Based on primary research with government leaders from across 25 states and jurisdictions, this playbook provides step-by-step guidance for establishing and maintaining the key data and technology systems needed to deliver a human-centered Summer EBT program, including:

  • An overview of client-centered Summer EBT program outcomes
  • Recommendations for collecting and aggregating school data
  • Best practices for matching and deduplicating student data
  • Tips for creating an effective online Summer EBT application
  • Best practices for digital outreach and customer support

Whether you need tips for addressing a specific technical challenge, or you’re just wrapping your mind around Summer EBT requirements and how to design the program in your state, this playbook is for you.

Looking for help with Summer EBT?

Code for America and No Kid Hungry are available to support state agencies with Summer EBT implementation in 2024 and beyond. Contact us for help using the Playbook, or for support with challenges related to Summer EBT implementation.