3K+ kids received P-EBT in Covington County

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020

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From May to June, 3,627 Covington County children received Pandemic-EBT benefits.

P-EBT is a joint venture of the Alabama Department of Education, which administers school meals, and the Department of Human Resources (DHR), which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). P-EBT provides many families of school-aged children with a debit-like card called an electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, card. This card is loaded with the value of each child’s school meals from March 18 to May 31.

According to Alabama Department of Human Resources director of communications Daniel Sparkman, under this program, an estimated more than 445,000 Alabama school children will have access to meals that normally would have been provided at school.

“The P-EBT program allows children to receive benefits equal to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) reimbursement rates, which is $5.70 per child, per school day,” Sparkman said. “Eligible households will receive benefits retroactively for the months of March, April, and May. P-EBT benefits will allow households to receive an estimated (per child): $68.40 for March, $125.40 for April, and $119.70 for May, depending on the family’s eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.”

The P-EBT was first proposed because of the Families First Coronavirus Response ct of 2020.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 provided the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture authority to approve state agency plans for temporary emergency standards of eligibility and levels of benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008,” Sparkman said. “Children who would receive free or reduced-price meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act if not for the school closure are eligible under this provision, P-EBT benefits are provided to households that have children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These benefits are designed to cover meals missed since the onset of statewide school closures on March 18th through the end of the school year on May 29th.”

P-EBT benefits may be used at any store that accepts SNAP and can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible food items.