As the enrollment period for the Pandemic EBT food benefit program approached at the end of August, only about 27,000 of the eligible 77,000 households in Utah had applied for program, according to Alex Cragun, food security advocate for Utahns Against Hunger. The program provides a one-time benefit of $308 to children in kindergarten through 12th grade who were receiving free or reduced-price school meals on or before March 16.
Pandemic EBT is a federal food assistance program authorized by Congress as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Children whose households were receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on or before March 16 have already received their P-EBT benefit — a total of about 60,000 students.
“There are 50,000 eligible households that have yet to apply and less than a week to apply,” said Cragun as the program came to a close. “The Department of Workforce Services just issued the first benefits for families who applied and distributed more than $6 million. Not only does that help families buy food but has a real impact on the economy”