For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Summer EBT program expands food assistance to students across the Delaware Valley


January 15, 2024

Center staff member Natalie Shaak was quoted in an article about the impact of Summer EBT programs that were recently made permanent by the federal government. 

“[It’s] not just about not being physically hungry. It is about not having consistent access to affordable, nutritionally sound food so folks can live a full life,” said Natalie Shaak, with the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University.

Other iterations of food insecurity include eating highly processed and fast food, forgoing medical care to pay for food, or buying food at high-priced corner stores. Shaak said the issue is compounded by a lack of transportation or the types of foods available in certain neighborhoods.

While the permanent federal program may be helpful, it likely won’t completely fill the void, said Shaak. If an eligible child is given just $40 per month during the summer, that is just $2 per day.

“Oftentimes, the funding falls short in addressing family needs,” Shaak said. “Programs like TANF and SNAP have not increased benefit amounts to keep up with rising costs of living over the years, so their value continues to go down as [a] families’ need increase.”

View Story