In an April 16 op-ed for Good Faith Media, Carol Gundlach, senior policy analyst at Alabama Arise, and Laura Lester, chief executive officer of Feeding Alabama, called on Alabama legislators to include funding in the state’s 2025 budgets for Summer Electronics Benefit Transfer (EBT) programs. At the time, Alabama was one of only 14 states that had not included Summer EBT in their budgets for 2024. 

Summer EBT programs allow families to receive direct funds during the summer months to help fill the budget gaps created when children lose access to school nutrition programs. 

On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee, in a display of bipartisan unity, voted unanimously to allocate $10 million in 2025 for these programs. In a statement responding to the action, Alabama Arise hunger policy advocate La Trell Clifford Wood commended the committee’s decision and urged other legislators, regardless of party affiliation, to rally behind this crucial initiative. She also called on Gov. Kay Ivey to sign the funding into law. 

The statement emphasized the potential of Summer EBT: “This crucial program will significantly reduce food insecurity for over 500,000 Alabama children. By providing every eligible school-age child in a low-income household with $120 in food assistance each summer starting in 2025, we ensure they continue to receive the nutritious food they need when school meals are unavailable. This, in turn, will enhance their health, academic performance, and overall readiness to learn.”

Wood said that the passage of Summer EBT programs has added economic benefits to Alabama, generating around $100 million in economic activity for the state. 

The statement thanked representatives who championed the bill and the “Alabama Arise members and other advocates from every corner of our state who relentlessly called, emailed, and spoke out in support of Summer EBT.”

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