Borrego Sun - Since 1949

By Anita Lightfoot
County of San Diego Communications Office 

Summertime Brings SUN Bucks

 

Last updated 5/28/2024 at 9:24am



New this summer, families with school-aged children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year will have some extra grocery money. California SUN Bucks, also called Summer-EBT, begins next month and will provide an additional $40 per month in food benefits to eligible children to purchase groceries during the summer months of June, July, and August.

SUN Bucks work just like CalFresh and can be used to buy foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products at most grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other authorized retailers. They are available to children who receive free or reduced-price school meals through a school meal application or an Alternative Income Form, or get CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal. Children who are attending Head Start, experiencing homelessness, living in foster care or part of a migrant family will also be automatically enrolled. There is no need to apply.

“No child should spend their summer hungry,” said Richard Wanne, Director of the County Department of Self Sufficiency. “SUN Bucks are a great way to ensure families in need don’t have to worry about how they will put food on the table.”

SUN Bucks cards will be mailed directly to eligible households with a one-time lump sum of $120 dollars per child. Children who receive SUN Bucks can still participate in other summer meal programs.

If your child doesn’t meet one of the requirements for automatic enrollment, they may still be eligible. To check, ask your child’s school for a school meal application or an Alternative Income Form. When you return the form to the school, they will evaluate it and determine if your children are eligible for SUN Bucks.

What should I do when I get my SUN Bucks card in the mail?

Follow the instructions that came with your SUN Bucks card and set up your PIN. Then your card can be used to buy food in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

If I already got a SUN Bucks card in the mail, do I need to apply?

No. If you already got a SUN Bucks card in the mail, there is no need to apply. Follow the instructions that came with your SUN Bucks card and create a private personal identification number (PIN). Then your card will be ready to use.

What can I buy with SUN Bucks?

Your SUN Bucks can buy food at most grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and online at places like Amazon and Walmart.

Use your SUN Bucks card like a debit card:

Select “EBT”

Swipe the SUN bucks card

Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

How long do I have to spend my SUN Bucks?

You must use your SUN Bucks within 122 days of funds being loaded on the card. Any unused money on your card after 122 days will expire. Expired benefits cannot be replaced or put back on your card.

Will the SUN Bucks program be available after summer 2024?

Yes. SUN Bucks is a permanent program and will be available starting summer 2024. Each summer, we will provide information on how to get your SUN Bucks.

For more information, visit: https://cdss.ca.gov/sun-bucks/faq

 
 
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