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The Human Services Department mission is: To transform lives. Working with our partners, we design and deliver innovative, high quality health and human services that improve the security and promote independence for New Mexicans in their communities.

SUN Bucks

SUN Bucks, also known as Summer EBT (S-EBT), is a new federal program that helps families by giving them money to buy groceries during the summer when children are not in school. Starting summer of 2024, families that qualify for this program will get $120 for each child that’s part of the program. This money will be on a card that works like a debit card (called an EBT card). Parents can use this card to buy healthy food at places like grocery stores, farmers markets, and some online retailers.

 

Who is eligible for SUN Bucks?

Two ways students could be eligible for SUN Bucks:

Automatically eligible:

    • A student may have received free or reduced meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP);
    • A student’s school may have reported the child to be homeless, a migrant, or in foster care; or
    • A student received SNAP, MAGI-Children’s Medicaid, or TANF any time during the school year and was between the ages of 5 through 18.
    • Parents will be sent a notice to inform them of their child’s automatic eligibility.

Apply for SUN Bucks:

    • Must attend an NSLP/SBP participating school. Link here for list of participating NSLP/SBP schools in NM.
    • No approved NSLP/SBP application on file with the school.
    • Have a household income that is less than 185% FPL (NSLP income guidelines).
    • Reside in the state of NM.

* There will be some students who are not eligible for SUN Bucks. Students who are not automatically eligible will need to apply; however, if a student does not attend an NSLP/SBP participating school, the student is not eligible for SUN Bucks. Some Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and Private schools do not participate in NSLP/SBP.*

Is there an application?

Children attending a NSLP/SBP school who are not otherwise automatically eligible may apply.

For school year 2023-2024, applications can be submitted any time between current date through 8/15/24 at:

NMPED

300 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Attn: Summer EBT / SSWB

When will children receive SUN Bucks?

We plan to issue SUN Bucks in August 2024. Within this period, children may receive benefits at different times depending on how they qualify. Children who were automatically eligible will receive an Information Notice for SUN Bucks starting mid July. We will share more information on benefit issuance timelines soon.

How will families get the child’s SUN Bucks?

A new SUN Bucks EBT card will be mailed out in the oldest child’s (if multiple eligible kids in the same household) or to the individual child (if one kid in household) name at time of issuance summer 2024 and will contain each eligible child’s benefit.

For those children that are on SNAP, TANF or MAGI-Children Medicaid, the address on file with HSD will be used to mail the card. For those other children eligible, the address provided by the school will be used to mail the card. Each year the child is eligible, the benefit will go onto that existing card.

Make sure your child’s school — or SNAP, MAGI-Children Medicaid, or TANF — has the correct mailing address on file. 

 

Does the SUN Bucks on children’s card expire?

Yes. 

Families will have 122 days to use the benefits from the date they are issued. If there is any unspent benefit on the 122nd day, the benefits will be removed from the child’s card. After, benefits are expunged, they can not be reissued.

A notice will go out to the families 30 days prior to expungement warning them of the unspent amount on the card.

Will this impact becoming a citizen?

If a parent, a child, or family member is a non-citizen receiving SUN Bucks, this does not affect immigration status and will not make you a public charge.

What if I applied for my child and do not agree with the outcome?

If you do not agree with the outcome, a request for fair hearing can be submitted by email summer.ebt@ped.nm.gov Or call: (505) 695-8454.

Hearing requests can be accepted up until 90 days after the summer operational period. For 2024, the summer operational period ends 8/15/2024, last day to request a hearing is 11/13/2024.

Where can I use SUN Bucks

Use it the same as SNAP benefits. Parents can use this card to buy healthy food at places like grocery stores, farmers markets, and some online retailers You can also use your card where you see the Quest logo.