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Deadline extended for pandemic food benefits for families affected by COVID-19 school closures

Posted July 30, 2020

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The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is extending the application deadline for the federal Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program, known as P-EBT, to Aug. 21 to ensure eligible families have more time to apply for the food benefit.

P-EBT is a one-time benefit of $285 per eligible child and can be used in the same way Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits pay for groceries. Eligible families include those with children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program due to school closures.

“The P-EBT program helps ensure that families continue to have access to healthy food as some schools, and subsequently school lunch programs, remain closed due to COVID-19,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “I encourage eligible Texans to apply for these benefits so they can continue to provide food for their families during these challenging times.”

The Health and Human Services Commission partnered with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency to launch the $1 billion federal program June 1 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 3 million children in Texas were certified to receive free or reduced-price meals at school during the 2019-2020 school year. To date, nearly $790 million in P-EBT has been issued to families, benefiting more than 2.8 million children.

Families who are eligible for P-EBT were notified by their school districts in May. After completing the online application, families receive their benefits on a new Texas P-EBT card in the mail.

Learn more about P-EBT and types of proof acceptable. For questions regarding eligibility, contact the P-EBT call center at 833-613-6220 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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