Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Register for Glenn Miller Tickets in Mobile on May 30.

An Alabama Senate committee reverses course on feeding hungry children


An Alabama Senate committee voted to set aside money so that the state can reverse course and participate in a federal program that gives summer food assistance to low-income families with school-age children. APR news reported on efforts by the nonprofit group Alabama Arise to urge the public to call lawmakers on the issue.

Alabama was one of 14 states that declined to participate in the Summer EBT, or Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children. It provides families $40 per month to spend on groceries for each child who receives free or reduced-price school lunches during the school year. The program aims to augment summer meal sites to help combat food insecurity during the summer months.

The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee voted to allocate $10 million to the Education Trust Fund so the state can participate next year. The spending bill now moves to the full Senate for review.

Alabama participated in the pandemic version of the program. Congress in 2022 made the program permanent effective this summer. States split the program's administrative costs, but the federal government pays for the food benefits.

Advocacy groups had urged lawmakers to fund the program.

LaTrell Clifford Wood, a hunger policy analyst with Alabama Arise, said the program "will help reduce food insecurity for more than 500,000 Alabama children."

"These benefits will help ensure that children can continue getting the nutritious food they need when school meals are unavailable," Clifford Wood said.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.