Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is part of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (PL 116–127), as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act 2021 and Other Extensions Act (PL 116-159), the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (PL 116-260), and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (PL 117-2) provides the Secretary of Agriculture authority to approve state agency plans to administer P-EBT.
USDA is committed to providing nutrition assistance to hard-hit families across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Jan. 22, 2021, in support of President Biden’s call to action on hunger, USDA announced that it is increasing the P-EBT benefit by approximately 15 percent, providing more money for low-income families and millions of children missing meals due to school and child care closures.
Through P-EBT, eligible school children receive temporary emergency nutrition benefits loaded on EBT cards that are used to purchase food. Children who would have received free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Act if their schools were not closed or operating with reduced hours or attendance for at least 5 consecutive days are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits are available in any school year in which there is a public health emergency declaration based on an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2; as well as during at any covered summer period that follows a school year during which there was a public health emergency designation based on an outbreak of SAR-CoV-2.
School Year 2020-2021
The following states have been approved to operate a Pandemic EBT program during SY 2020-2021
- State Plan for Pandemic EBT: Children in School and Child Care, 2021-22 (8/26/21)
- P-EBT Q&A – SY 2021-22 (8/26/21)
- P-EBT State Plan Template SY 2021-22 (8/26/21)
- P-EBT Guidance – Summer 2021 (4/26/21)
- P-EBT Q&A – Summer 2021 (4/26/21)
- P-EBT State Plan Template – Summer 2021 (4/26/21)
- P-EBT Guidance - Assistance for Children in Schools and Child Care SY 2020-21 (1/29/21)
- P-EBT Q&A - Assistance for Children in Schools and Child Care SY 2020-21 (1/29/21)
- P-EBT State Plan Template - Children in Schools and Child Care SY 2020-21 (1/29/21)
- State Plans for SY 2020-21 (11/16/20)
- SY 2019-2020 P-EBT State Participation