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Arizona will help launch new Summer EBT program for food-insecure kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this month that Arizona is one of the 44 states, territories and tribes set to launch a permanent summer grocery benefits plan for children.

Starting this summer, Arizona will be among the first states to launch the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer, or Summer EBT. The program is expected to serve 21 million children by providing $120 per eligible child in grocery benefits.

According to the USDA, a multi-year demonstration project showed that assistance decreased the number of children experiencing very low food security by about a third.

The department said in a statement that its goal is to take the program nationwide by 2025.

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Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.