August 30, 2021

Organizations From Across Florida Sign Letter Urging State Action on Summer P-EBT Proposal

Diverse coalition of signees includes regional food banks, faith groups, farmers markets, and United Ways

ORLANDO, Fla. - Eighty-one organizations from across the state are calling on state leadership to act quickly or risk losing out on $820 million in federal food assistance for over 2 million children in Florida.

In a letter spearheaded by the nonprofit Florida Policy Institute (FPI), groups urge Gov. Ron DeSantis and Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris to help fight food insecurity among low-income children through the Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (Summer P-EBT), noting that “it is not too late” to help families “who have already carried much of the burden of meal costs for their children over the summer and are playing catch up from added food and other pandemic-related costs.”

“The well-being of children is of the utmost importance as we all continue to navigate policy solutions amid the pandemic,” said Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI. “These federal dollars for Summer P-EBT are an integral part of reducing food insecurity for families who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Florida is one of only a handful of states that have not submitted a plan for Summer P-EBT, which provides federal funding at no cost to states to deliver grocery benefits to children who missed out on free or reduced-price meals while their school or child care facilities were closed during the summer.

Children of color are disproportionately harmed by delaying P-EBT. The letter highlights this disparity, stating that nationwide “roughly 51 percent of children in Black households, 47 percent in Latino households, and 30 percent in white households live in families that have trouble covering typical living expenses, such as food, housing, car payments, and medical expenses.”

FPI is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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