The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a Federal program to provide food benefits to children who miss the opportunity to receive school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. These benefits will take the form of funds on electronic benefit transfer (EBT cards) which can be used in the same manner as SNAP (food stamp) cards. Children enrolled at schools provided breakfast and lunch service by the DOE’s food and nutrition program are eligible.
- Benefits will automatically be issued to all eligible students, program enrollment is not required.
- For students whose households receive SNAP, Temporary Assistance or Medicaid benefits, P-EBT benefits will be loaded to those household accounts.
- For all other students, new cards will be issued to each student specifically for P-EBT benefits and mailed directly to students’ home addresses.
Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits based on the number of days their school has reported that it was closed, or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19. There are two different amounts that an eligible child may receive:
Children eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits will receive their benefits for the 2020-21 school year in two payments.
- The first payment will be issued starting in June and continue through the end of July. This payment will include P-EBT food benefits for each month between September 2020 and March 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits.
- The second payment will be issued by the end of September and include P-EBT food benefits for each month between April and June 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits.
While P-EBT food benefits are not SNAP benefits, they can only be used to purchase the same food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits at authorized retail food stores. A detailed list of food items that may be purchased with food benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items/.
If you have any questions, you may call the P-EBT Food Benefits helpline 1-833-452-0096.
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