Chickasaw Nation Summer EBT program now accepting applications

The Daily Ardmoreite

Families with children who receive free or reduced school meals may be eligible for free food this summer through a program offered by the Chickasaw Nation. The service is available to students enrolled in participating school districts. No tribal affiliation necessary.

Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services is accepting applications for the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program. The application deadline is Aug. 4, 2021.

Once approved, families will receive Summer EBT cards in the mail, along with a list of participating stores and a shopping list to help identify approved food items. These cards work like debit cards.

This federally-funded program is open to the public and is in its ninth year of operation. Last year, the program served more than 32,000 students.

Summer EBT benefits do not affect any other program benefits families may be receiving. Information provided by you on the consent form, and any records obtained for this program, will be kept confidential as required by law and will be used only for this project.

To qualify for this program, a child must be enrolled in a participating school district in grades Pre-K through 12 and receive free or reduced meals at school. Qualifying school districts are within the Chickasaw Nation and parts of the Choctaw Nation.

Free and reduced meal programs offered by schools operating Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) may have additional criteria to qualify based on the school’s identified student percentage (ISP).

Applications can be completed online at Chickasaw.net/SummerEBT or by phone at (580) 272-1178 or (844) 256-3467, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This telephone number will also be available for more information and to any participating family with questions on using the EBT service.

Qualifying families will receive approximately $30 of free food per child per month for May, June and July. Benefits are on an EBT card that allows participants to purchase healthy food for the summer. Each month’s benefits will be made available May 1, June 1 and July 1 and will expire Sept. 14.

The Chickasaw Nation offers other food programs such as the GetFresh! Nutrition Program, the Food Distribution Program, the Farmers Market Programs, the Farm to School Program, the WIC Supplemental Nutrition Program, the Packed Promise Program and the Impa’chi Kids Meal Program.