Children in kindergarten through 12th grade who were eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals on March 16 are now eligible to receive a one-time payment of $308 through the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. Children who were eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on March 16 automatically receive the P-EBT benefit, resulting in $18 million being sent to Utah families.
P-EBT is a federal food assistance program created by Congress as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
“We are grateful to now provide this important benefit,” said Dale Ownby, Department of Workforce Services eligibility services director. “The availability of this program represents a collaborative effort with our department, the Utah State Board of Education and community partners. Since the initial creation of the program by Congress, we have not stopped actively pursuing and working toward this announcement.”
Children not receiving SNAP benefits on March 16 will need to apply for P-EBT in order to receive the benefits. An estimated 75,000 households may have children eligible and will need to apply in order to receive the P-EBT benefit. This could bring an additional $50 million to Utah families for food assistance. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 31, and benefits will be provided in September. The short application is available online at jobs.utah.gov/PEBT.
“Ensuring our students have food security has always been a priority for the Utah State Board of Education,” said Sydnee Dickson, state superintendent of public instruction. “Having this additional one-time benefit available for eligible families will be a great support as we start the new school year. With everything going on, the last thing our school communities need is to worry about food security.”