Heads Up: In California and select other States starting May 12th to ensure that children continue to have access to nutritious meals when schools are unexpectedly closed, Congress provided and USDA is making available funds to States for the implementation of P-EBT.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, authorized through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, provides states a critical opportunity to provide support, efficiently and comprehensively, to families that rely on free or reduced-price school meals when school is open. Through P-EBT, states can issue eligible households an EBT card with the value of the free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the number of weekdays that schools are closed due to COVID-19 (estimated to be around $5.70 per day).
Eligible households include those with children certified to receive free or reduced-price school meals and children who attend schools that offer free school meals to all students. Schools must be closed for five or more consecutive days for families to participate.
P-EBT provides families the necessary flexibility to purchase food in a way that makes the most sense during this time. Every state can and should take advantage of this opportunity.
As of May 12, 25 states have been approved to provide benefits through P-EBT: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland , Michigan , New Mexico, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. About 20 additional states have submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.
State participation in P-EBT is optional; however, it is a significant opportunity to ensure children continue to have access to nutritious meals despite this national emergency. FNS stands ready to support States as they implement
ALL children who would receive FREE or reduced-price meals, if not for their school closure due to COVID-19, are eligible to receive P-EBT.
Read more HERE on the Food Research & Action Center Website.
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