This summer, additional food stamps will be distributed to children with low incomes. Nevertheless, not in these states.

Depending on the state in which they reside, millions of families with children who are living on a low income will receive additional assistance in paying for food this summer.

More than half of U.S. states will participate in a new program that gives poor families with kids hundreds of dollars in food stamps when pupils lose free or reduced-price cafeteria meals, increasing food insecurity. In 2022, more than 17% of households with children reported going hungry, the most recent year with statistics. The enhanced benefits come as youngster hunger has been rising nationwide.

The USDA said Wednesday that 15 governors declined the expanded summer food program for various reasons.

Luke Shaefer, a University of Michigan social work professor and co-author of "The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America." stated most of those governors rule states with higher food insecurity.

"Americans want fairness for all kids," Shaefer added. "What we’re seeing is this increasing gap between kids in different states in the union."

“COVID-19 is over, and Nebraska taxpayers expect that pandemic-era government relief programs will end too,” Gov. Jim Pillen stated last month to justify his opt-out. After explaining his position at a press conference, he was slammed for adding, “I don’t believe in welfare.”

In December, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said, “An EBT card does nothing to promote nutrition at a time when childhood obesity has become an epidemic.” Iowa is also opting out.

Elaine Waxman, an Urban Institute food insecurity senior scholar, said some Republican governors lack "political will" to administer the program. She said that daily government personnel in such jurisdictions will find the initiative difficult to implement in 2024.

Links between education department and state agency data make increasing summer food stamp benefits for kids more logistically difficult than many people believe, say researchers. Poonam Gupta, another Urban Institute researcher investigating state food assistance programs, said states had a "limited runway to get everything set up in time" to operate the complicated new program.

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