The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 authorized the payment of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits to households with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Act, if not for a school closure. The P-EBT program will provide eligible households with the amount that would have been spent by the government for free breakfast and lunch which equals $5.70 per child. This can mean hundreds of dollars per child as schools in many states have been closed since the middle of March.
Some states are advising that parents do not have to do anything yet to receive the benefits and more information will be mailed to them while other states may require an application from parents or action by their schools. Agudath Israel has reached out to state officials in several states on behalf of nonpublic schools and are awaiting responses to some of their specific questions. Children may continue to receive “grab n go” meals or emergency food at COVID-19 emergency feeding sites offered by schools and community locations, even if they are receiving P-EBT benefits. Many states will be sending out their first payments in the days and weeks ahead.
For more information regarding the P-EBT program, who is eligible, and how it works, please see Agudath Israel’s national P-EBT FAQ page here.