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Sun Bucks


Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Summer EBT.

Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children (Summer EBT), also known as SUN Bucks, is new in summer 2024. Summer EBT provides grocery benefits to low-income families with school-aged children when schools are closed for the summer. Summer EBT benefits will either be loaded to a household’s Ohio Direction Card or a benefit card will be sent in the mail in a plain white envelope addressed to each eligible child.

Families will receive a one-time benefit of $120 for each eligible child and can use the money to buy food during the summer at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other authorized retailers.

All children between the ages of 6 to 18 participating in one or more of the following assistance programs (on or after July 1, 2023) will receive Summer EBT automatically with no need to apply:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Ohio Works First (OWF)
  • Medicaid (if income meets USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines for current program year)

Children of any age enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program that are approved for free or reduced-price meals for school year 2023-2024 will also receive Summer EBT automatically with no need to apply.

No, each student at a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 school are not automatically eligible for Summer EBT.

Households with children that participate in SNAP, OWF, Medicaid and are within the free or reduced-price meal income level, or are homeless, migrant, runaway, or participate in HeadStart will automatically get Summer EBT.

Households that are within 185% of the federal poverty level but do not participate in one of these programs can submit a Summer EBT application via the Summer EBT web page at

Children who qualify for the Summer EBT program will receive benefits in one of two ways:

  1. Households that currently receive SNAP benefits will see benefits for each eligible child issued on their Ohio Direction Card.
  2. Households that do not currently receive SNAP benefits will receive a new Summer EBT card in the mail for each approved child. The card will be in a plain white envelope and addressed to the child. Households should keep Summer EBT cards to potentially receive future summer benefits.

Households with children already participating in SNAP, OWF, Medicaid with household income within the free or reduced-price school meal guidelines, or certified for free or reduced-price school meals during the school year will receive their benefit by July 31. Check back regularly for updates.

Note: benefits will be issued over many days so children in the same household may receive their benefit on a different day from one another.

Households that become eligible for SNAP, OWF, or Medicaid during the summer, or apply for Summer EBT using the Summer EBT application will receive benefits within two months after being approved.

Households with active SNAP accounts should have benefits loaded to their Ohio Direction Card. All other households will receive a new Summer EBT card in the mail for each eligible child. The card will arrive in a plain white envelope and be addressed to the child. Any past summer P-EBT cards can be thrown away.

Summer EBT funds will expire after 122 days after the benefit is issued. If the benefit is loaded on the Ohio Direction Card, the Summer EBT benefit will be used first the next time you visit a store.

Graduating seniors of any age who are approved for free or reduced-price meals will receive Summer EBT.

Preschool and Kindergarten students under the age of 6 will only be included if they are approved for free or reduced-price meals, their school is on the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, and they are being offered school breakfast and/or school lunch. Preschool or Kindergarten students at a childcare center will not receive Summer EBT.

When a school has fully virtual/online students with no access to the National School Lunch Program, those students will not be submitted by the school for Summer EBT. However, the student will automatically receive Summer EBT if the student is on SNAP, OWF, or Medicaid (and the household is within the income eligibility of the free or reduced-price meal program).

Student data submissions will only allow for one address per child. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Medicaid, and Schools will provide the address for the primary guardian.

Summer EBT and the Summer Food Service Program are meant to work together to address food insecurity during the summer months when children are not receiving school meals. Households can participate in both programs. Call 1-866-3-HUNGRY (486479) for a nearby location