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Humboldt County Office of Education: Get Help Buying Food While Schools Are Closed

Get Help Buying Food While Schools Are Closed

The California Department of Education and California Department of Social Services announced today that a new program to benefit families will be available soon. From the CDSS website:

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency.

Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.

Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving in May, 2020.

Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail, must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will launch in late May.

More information will be posted when it becomes available on their website. CDSS has also created an informational flyer and a FAQ.

También hay una versión en español del volante informativo.

Timeline

On Friday, April 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved California’s application to operate a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program during COVID-19.

Through the P-EBT program, each eligible child in the household will receive $5.70 per day (up to $365 total) for each day of the month in which school was cancelled due to COVID-19. These benefits are in addition to meals families may pick up from school.

Important Dates

May 7, 2020 – May 22, 2020

  • Timeframe during which families with children who were directly certified for school meals through CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care prior to school closure should automatically receive their P-EBT card.

Late May

  • P-EBT online application will be available for families to complete.

June 30, 2020

  • The latest date that families who applied for CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits after their school closed will receive there P-EBT card in the mail.
  • The latest date that families can apply online for P-EBT who have children that are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and currently do not receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits.

The CDE and CDSS will provide P-EBT outreach toolkits to school nutrition partners in the coming weeks. The P-EBT outreach toolkit includes sample communications for schools to notify eligible households about the availability of P-EBT. Schools are strongly encouraged to only use these state-provided outreach materials to reduced confusion about this new, time-limited pandemic relief program. Below is a two links that provide more information about the P-EBT. The first link is a flyer that summarizes the benefits of P-EBT for families. The second link is to a page of FAQs that will updated on a continual basis.