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New program aims to close the summer nutrition gap for families


Many students rely on free lunches throughout the school year. But how do students access nutrition during the summer months? Libraries, community centers and parks provide such arrangements for young people, but a new program is extending assistance to help the whole family.

The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce is giving eligible families $120 per school-aged child, issued through an Ohio Direction Card. The EBT card, known at “SUN Bucks,” is the first new permanent federal nutrition assistance program in more than 50 years.

On Cincinnati Edition, we’ll discuss the program and the concerns over nutrition access during the summer months.


  • Brigette Hires, administrator for the office of nutrition, Ohio Department of Education and Workforce
  • Joree Novotny, executive director, Ohio Association of Foodbanks
  • Tony Fairhead, executive director, Childhood Food Solutions

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