Summer EBT

Summer EBT Webpage Banner Image

The Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program is a federally funded food assistance program administered at the state level. In Tennessee, the Department of Human Services (TDHS) utilizes records from the state’s Department of Education (DOE) to provide nutrition benefits to eligible school age children during summer months when school meals are not available. Like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), benefits are distributed through EBT cards that can be used to purchase groceries. Eligible families will receive $40 per eligible child, per month, in a one-time payment of $120 beginning in June 2024.

Have a question about the Summer EBT Reconsideration Process? Click here for more info.

Summer EBT Eligibility

Tennessee children who attended National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participating schools during the 2023/24 school year may qualify for Summer EBT through:

  1. Participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Families First (TANF), or TennCare (Medicaid): School age children (age 6-17)* who participated in SNAP, Families First (TANF), or TennCare during the 2023/24 academic year are automatically eligible for Summer EBT. These families do not need to apply for Summer EBT.
  2. 2023/24 National School Lunch Program Eligibility: Children who applied and were approved to receive free or reduced-price meals at a NSLP participating school during the 2023/24 academic year are automatically eligible for Summer EBT regardless of age. These families do not need to apply to receive Summer EBT.
  3. Summer EBT Application: Families of children who receive SNAP, Families First, and/or TennCare but are outside of Tennessee's compulsory school age, and families of children who didn't participate in SNAP, Families First, TennCare, or NSLP** for the 2023/24 school year can apply to receive Summer EBT.  Benefit approval will based on income guidelines.

*Tennessee's compulsory school age is 6-17.  Children outside of Tennessee's compulsory school age cannot be automatically approved for Summer EBT through SNAP, Families First, or TennCare participation and must file a Summer EBT application.

**Students who attended Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and receive free breakfast/free lunch without filing a NSLP application cannot be automatically approved for Summer EBT. These families must file a Summer EBT application and meet income guidelines.

Applying for Summer EBT

Many Summer EBT recipients will not need to apply to receive benefits. If your child was enrolled at a NSLP-participating school during the 2023/24 academic year and meets at least one of the following criteria, you do not need to submit a Summer EBT application:

  • Participated in SNAP, Families First, or TennCare during the 2023/24 academic year and was born on or after 8/1/2005 and on or before 8/1/2017; or
  • Has an approved NSLP application on file with their school.
Tennessee families should apply for Summer EBT if:
  • Their child did not participate in SNAP, Families First or TennCare during the 2023/24 academic year.
  • Their child participated in SNAP, Families First, or TennCare during the 2023/24 academic year but was outside Tennessee's compulsory school age (born on or after 8/1/2005 and on or before 8/1/2017).
  • Their child did not receive approval for a NSLP application during the 2023/24 academic year.
  • Their child received free or reduced-price meals at a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school without submitting a NSLP application during the 2023/24 academic year.

NOTE: CEP is a universal meal plan under the NSLP that allows eligible districts and schools to provide meal service to all students at no charge, regardless of economic status. A list of CEP participant schools can be found by clicking here.

Checking Your Child’s Summer EBT Eligibility Status

The Summer EBT Parent Portal  makes it easy for Tennessee parents to:

  • Review a student’s contact information to ensure benefits are delivered to the correct address.
  • Apply for Summer EBT benefits, if necessary.
  • Sign up to receive Summer EBT text message updates.
  • File a reconsideration request or appeal, if necessary.

Note: Tennessee families who already have a One DHS Customer Portal Account should use their current One DHS Account credentials to log into the parent portal.

For More Information, Try the Frequently Asked Questions Below

How do I apply or check my child’s Summer EBT status in Tennessee?

Tennessee parents should check their child’s Summer EBT eligibility status, and if necessary, can apply for Summer EBT in the Summer EBT Parent Portal. Log in or create an account at https://OneDHS.TN.Gov.

The Summer EBT Parent Portal also makes it easy for Tennessee parents to

  • Review a student’s contact information to ensure benefits are delivered to the correct address.
  • Sign up to receive Summer EBT text message updates.
  • File a reconsideration request or appeal, if necessary.

Note: Tennessee families who already have a One DHS Customer Portal Account should use their current One DHS Account credentials to log into the Parent Portal.

My child was homeschooled, do they qualify for Summer EBT?

To qualify for Summer EBT, a child must attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program.

What are the age restrictions for Summer EBT?Children of any age who were enrolled in NSLP-participating schools during the 2023/24 school year are eligible to participate in Summer EBT if they reside in a household with an income level at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level and complete an NSLP/SBP application or a Summer EBT application. This includes:

  • Children of high school grade or under, including preschool-age children; and
  • Students who are mentally or physically disabled, as defined by the State, and who are participating in a school program established for the mentally or physically disabled.

Children ages 6-17 who participated in SNAP, TANF, or TennCare and were enrolled in NSLP-participating schools during the 2023/24 school year are eligible for Summer EBT.

What is the benefit amount for Summer EBT?

Eligible families will receive a one-time payment of $120 per child.

You can check your Summer EBT card balance online at  www.connectebt.com or by calling the number on the back of your new Summer EBT card.

What can I buy with my benefits?

Summer EBT benefits are accepted anywhere SNAP benefits are accepted. You can find a list of eligible and ineligible household items here: https://www.Fns.USDA.Gov/SNAP/Eligible-Food-Items.

When will I receive my Summer EBT benefits?

These Tennesseans can expect to receive Summer EBT benefits in June 2024:

  • Students who are automatically eligible for Summer EBT based on participation in SNAP, Families First, TennCare, or NSLP in the 2023/24 academic year.
  • Students who complete a Summer EBT application form and receive approval by May 31, 2024.

Eligible families who register to receive Summer EBT after May 31, 2024, will be issued benefits within 15 days of application approval.

One new Summer EBT benefit card per eligible will be mailed to the address on file in the Summer EBT Parent Portal.

My address is incorrect, how can I update my address?

Tennesseans can login/create an account on the Summer EBT Parent Portal to update their child’s information at https://OneDhs.TN.Gov and navigating to Summer EBT. Help is also available via One DHS Customer Service at 833-772-TDHS (8347).

I think my child qualified for Summer EBT, but did not receive benefits. What should I do?

If you believe your child qualified for Summer EBT program, but did not receive benefits, you may submit a Reconsideration Request by July 31, 2024 or file an appeal by November 13, 2024. Requests and appeals can be filed through the Parent Portal or by calling 833-772-TDHS (8347).

How long will my benefits last?

Summer EBT benefits are meant for summer use and will expire after 122 calendar days following the card’s creation. Expired benefits cannot be reinstated. Tennessee families will be notified at least 30 days before their card’s expiration date.

I lost my child’s Summer EBT card, what should I do?

A replacement card can be ordered by calling EBT Card Customer Service at 1-888-997-9444.

If I use my benefits, will it impact my family’s immigration status?

Receiving and using Summer EBT benefits will not affect your family’s immigration status.

My child lives in Tennessee, can they receive Summer EBT from another state?

Summer EBT participants are not permitted to receive benefits from multiple states.

Can I participate in other summer feeding programs if I receive benefits?

Yes, Summer EBT is meant to supplement Tennessee’s existing summer feeding programs, Seamless Summer Feeding Option & Summer Food Service Program.

How can I opt out of the Summer EBT program?

Parents can log into the Parent Portal or call 833-772-TDHS (8347) to opt out of the Summer EBT program.

Should I keep my Summer EBT card after using benefits?

Yes, Tennessee parents should keep their child’s card in case the child qualifies for the possibility of future Summer EBT program benefits. Your card will be reloaded as long as the program continues in Tennessee, and your child qualifies. A replacement card can be ordered by calling EBT Card Customer Service at 1-888-997-9444.