Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Benefits for School Meals
Are your children eligible for free or reduced price meals?
Were your children not getting free or reduced school meals during the school year, but family has lost income due to lost job or fewer hours?
When you have lost income, every dollar matters. Federal nutrition programs are here to help you stretch your dollars, provide healthy meals for your family, and focus on paying other bills. You may think you are not eligible, but check the chart to be sure.
What is P-EBT?
The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 provides benefits, referred to as Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), to families of school-aged children who would have otherwise received free or reduced-priced meals if it were not for school closures.
Families of school-aged children certified as free or reduced eligible will receive the equivalent of the free high rate for lunch and the severe need rate for breakfast for each day school was closed. That means a family will receive the benefit amount of $5.70 for each school-aged child in their family for each day school has been closed since March 16, 2020.
It is important to note this benefit is not in lieu of meals that schools and communities are currently providing; P-EBT is in addition to those meals.
How much help will P-EBT give me?
P-EBT will provide you $5.70 per day per child for each missed school day. These benefits will run through June 12, the official Pennsylvania average end of the school year.
- If your child was receiving free or reduced price meals when schools closed, you will receive $365 for each child (for 64 days, March 16-June 12, except Memorial Day).
- If your child became eligible for free or reduced price meals after schools closed, you will receive a pro-rated amount for the number of weekdays from the first of the month in which your child was determined eligible to the end of the year.
Determined eligible during April $302.10/child for April 1 – June 12
Determined eligible during May $171/child for May 1 – June 12
What do I need to do?
If your child did not receive free or reduced price lunch during the school year, apply online through COMPASS. If your child received free or reduced price lunches during the school year, make sure your school has your current address on file. (If you moved since the beginning of the school year, you need to notify your school of your new address.)
How will I get my benefits?
If you already receive SNAP, TANF Cash Assistance, or Medical Assistance, your benefits will be added to your EBT card within approximately 15 days. If you don’t receive these benefits, a P-EBT card will be mailed to you with instructions.
What if I live in a community eligible district, but my family doesn’t need the benefits?
All students will receive the benefit. The benefit is good for six months, and your family may need them at a future time.
Who do I contact about this program?
This is a State program and is not managed by the NWLSD. Contact information and full program details can be found here: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Coronavirus-Pandemic-EBT.aspx