Governor Cooper Unveils $120M Child Hunger Initiative in NC

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Governor Roy Cooper led an event heralding the launch of a groundbreaking food assistance initiative aimed at combating child hunger across North Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services Administrator Cindy Long unveiled SUN Bucks, a pioneering program bolstered by generous contributions from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Smithfield Foods, The Leon Levine Foundation, Dogwood Health Trust, Cone Health Foundation, and Brighthouse Financial.

The SUN Bucks program provides food assistance to school-aged children and bridges the financial gap for families during the summer months.

John Lumpkin, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, emphasized the program’s paramount importance, stating, “The significance of SUN Bucks in helping kids access this nourishment during the summer months cannot be overstated. We are so pleased to be part of the coalition of supporters and partners helping to bring this new, and important, opportunity to children and families across our state.”

North Carolina will receive $120 million to feed more than a million school children in North Carolina this summer.

Many eligible families will receive a one-time payment of $120, automatically disbursed to alleviate immediate hunger pangs.

Distribution of benefits will commence starting the following week, on Friday, June 14th.

“Summer can be a hard time for children who rely on our public schools for a healthy school breakfast and lunch,” said Governor Cooper. “Nearly one in six North Carolina children face food insecurity at home and this effort helps make sure they get the nutritious food they need.”

For further details on eligibility and program specifics, visit the North Carolina SUN Bucks program page.