SUN Bucks

sun bucks family graphic

Starting July 2024, the Rhode Island Department of Human Services will be offering SUN Bucks, also known as Summer EBT, to eligible school-age kids. The SUN Bucks program is a tool in the fight against child hunger. Families with eligible school-age children will receive $120 per child during the summer for groceries. 

Through this new program, in partnership with USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Rhode Island is helping ensure that children continue to have access to nutritious food when school is out in the summertime. 

With SUN Bucks, Rhode Island is helping children get the nutrition they need to grow and learn during the summer, helping bring More Summer Smiles to our youngest learners. 

Who is Eligible?

You may be eligible for SUN Bucks if any of the following criteria apply to your household: 

  • Your household is receiving SNAP, Rhode Island Works, or Medicaid benefits (if your household income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty level) and you have a child in your household who is ages 6 – 18.
  • Your child attends a school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program and meets the eligibility requirements for free and reduced-price school meals. 
  • You submit an online or paper SUN Bucks application and your household income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. 

Enrolling in SUN Bucks

Currently, school-age children (ages 6 – 18) receiving SNAP, RI Works,or Medicaid (if income eligible) will automatically receive SUN Bucks benefits in the summer. Additionally, families that submitted a school meal benefit application or an alternate income form to their schools and were determined income-eligible for free or reduced priced school meals will automatically receive benefits. All other families that believe they meet the income criteria for free or reduced-price school meals can complete a SUN bucks application to determine if they are eligible for the benefits. You can find the SUN Bucks application below.

When Will I receive SUN Bucks Benefits? 

If you have an eligible child receiving SNAP or RI Works, DHS will issue SUN Bucks benefits to your existing EBT card beginning sometime in July 2024.  If you have an eligible child that is not on one of these programs, a SUN Bucks/EBT card will be mailed to you.  Benefits will be issued in multiple rounds throughout July and August. 

Important Resources

Please find additional SUN Bucks resources below. Here, you will find application forms, FAQs, and more. Please check this section frequently for updates.

Public Notice Informing the Public about the Proposed Summer EBT Waivers

FNS has determined that Rhode Island must submit a request seeking waiver approval in order to administer the Summer EBT as planned. FNS has authority to waive regulatory provisions for Summer EBT, when certain conditions are met, consistent with Section 12(l) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1760(l). 

Waiver(s) Requested:

7 CFR 292.15(c)(1)(i)(A) Benefit issuance.

For children who can be streamline certified or who have an approved Summer EBT application on file, benefits must be issued and available for participants to use 7-14 calendar days before the start of the summer operational period.

7 CFR 292.15(c)(1)(i)(B) Benefit issuance.

For eligible children who apply after the summer operational period begins, benefits must be issued and available to spend not later than 15 operational days after a complete application is received by the Summer EBT agency.

7 CFR 292.12(f)(1)  Income applications.

The Summer EBT agency must notify (or place notification in the mail) eligible households of a child's approved status within 15 operational days of receipt of a complete application.

7 CFR 292.12(g) Denied applications and the notice of denial. 

The Summer EBT agency must provide written notice to each household denied benefits within 15 operational days of receipt of a complete application.

7 CFR 292.13(f) Timely certifications. 

Summer EBT agencies must follow-up with a household that submits an incomplete application within 10 operational days of receipt of the application.