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Summer EBT 2024 Announcement

This communication provides information for school food authorities (SFA) about 2024 Summer EBT (S-EBT) benefit issuance and timeline, automatic eligibility determinations, SFA support, toolkit resources for households, and contact information.

This communication provides information for school food authorities (SFA) about 2024 Summer EBT (S-EBT) benefit issuance and timeline, automatic eligibility determinations, SFA support, toolkit resources for households, and contact information.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L 117-328) authorized a new permanent, nationwide S-EBT Program beginning in 2024. S-EBT is designed to provide financial benefits for groceries, to eligible children when school is not in session. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the lead agency for S-EBT and the California Department of Education (CDE) works in partnership with CDSS to administer the Program.

Please note, the benefit issuance for S-EBT 2024 is subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture approval of California’s 2024 S-EBT Plan of Operations and Management.

S-EBT 2024 Benefits Issuance and Timeline

Eligible children will receive a card with $120 for use over the summer period, which is June 1st through August 31st. Funds are subject to expungement four months (122 days) after benefits are made available. Funds will be mailed to the mailing address in the California Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), or the Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS) for children that are identified eligible through enrollment in CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal.

The tentative benefit issuance timeline is as follows:

  • June 3–30, 2024, for children identified eligible on or before March 31, 2024
  • August 1, 2024, September 1, 2024, or October 15, 2024, for children determined newly eligible during the Summer period ending August 31, 2024.

Automatic Eligibility Determination

Eligibility for 2024 S-EBT will be automatically determined by CDSS using CDE records in CALPADS or SAWS. No separate S-EBT application is required for 2024. However, SFAs are encouraged to make National School Lunch Program (NSLP) applications or alternative income forms available for households to become eligible for S-EBT through August 31, 2024.

S-EBT benefits will be mailed to children that met the following requirements at any time from July 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024:

  1. Streamlined certified through SAWS: Age 6–18 and enrolled in CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal (with income confirmed at or under 185% of the Federal Poverty Level).


  1. Certified through CALPADS: Enrolled in a school participating in the NSLP/School Breakfast Program (SBP).


Determined eligible during the 2023–24 school year or 2024 summer period for free or reduced-price meals through meal application, alternative income form, local direct certification, or designation as homeless, migrant, or foster.

Please note, 2024 S-EBT has different eligibility requirements from Pandemic EBT. This may cause confusion for households. Pandemic EBT provided benefits to all children attending a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision school. For 2024 S-EBT, children attending CEP or Provision schools must have individual eligibility through direct certification or alternative income form. SFAs are strongly encouraged to make alternative income forms available for households to complete through August 31, 2024.

Private School Data Collection

Private schools do not report student eligibility information in CALPADS. Therefore, private schools will be provided a separate process to report eligible student information for S-EBT benefits. The benefits, timeframes, and eligibility requirements are the same as public school students. The CDE will reach out directly to private schools that participate in the NSLP/SBP to obtain eligibility data.

Support for Households Experiencing Homelessness

Ensuring access to S-EBT for children of households experiencing homelessness is critical for fighting food insecurity. County Social Services Departments will hold cards for households experiencing homelessness if they are recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal and streamlined certified under eligibility method 1 above. Homeless households may also contact their County Social Services Department to provide a mailing address if they are recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal.

For homeless households that are not recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal, S-EBT cards will be sent to the mailing address in CALPADS. CALPADS administrators may update addresses to a school or district office if no address is provided. The CDE will default blank mailing address fields in CALPADS to the district office. To ensure access to benefits, schools are asked to distribute cards that are mailed to schools or school district offices.

SFA Support for S-EBT

SFAs are encouraged to assist with the following:

  • Support S-EBT access to homeless children by distributing cards that are mailed to school or school district addresses.
  • Request that households update their address if they have moved during the school year or move during the summer period. Address updates should be completed in CALPADS no later than March 29, 2024, for June 30th issuance.
  • Make meal applications or alternative income forms available during Summer. SFAs are encouraged to perform verification for cause if application or alternative income form details such as household size and income appear incorrect.
  • Routinely update CALPADS. CALPADS administrators will be sent a CALPADS flash communication about how regular updates can support household access to S-EBT.
  • Notify households about S-EBT. Please see available resources in the next section.

Toolkit Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has branded the S-EBT as SUN Bucks and has developed a S-EBT outreach toolkit for use on the USDA website Summer EBT Outreach Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab.. The outreach toolkit includes video, facts sheets, and customizable resources in a variety of languages to inform households about S-EBT and how to use their benefits.

In addition, the CDSS will send communications about the 2024 S-EBT benefits to eligible households through automated text, email, and phone calls.

Contact Information

For household questions, the CDSS is establishing a customer service hotline and dedicated S-EBT webpage which will be shared with SFAs once available.

For SFA questions, please reach out to This email address is not for household inquires about S-EBT.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 01, 2024
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