More than $45 million of Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) assistance has been made available to qualifying Utah families. The P-EBT benefit, which began March 31 and helps cover food purchases, will be sent to households with children who temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures during the 2020-21 school year. Payments will be made over the next several months for qualifying children from qualifying schools.

“We want all Utahns to have the help they need, especially when it comes to feeding our children,” said Muris Prses, Department of Workforce Services Eligibility Services assistant director. “School lunch is an essential meal for many families and this benefit will cover food costs incurred because of school closures and adjusted schedules.”

P-EBT eligibility is determined by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) based on participation in the National School Lunch Program, free or reduced-price school meal status and the days a student was remotely or virtually attending school. To receive P-EBT, students must be signed up for free or reduced-price school meals. Parents have until May 10 to sign up through their schools to receive a payment for the 2020-21 school year. Customers who received SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) from September 2020 to the most current month and are eligible for P-EBT will automatically receive P-EBT benefits on their SNAP EBT card. A P-EBT card (similar to a debit card) will be sent to qualifying households that do not receive SNAP.

“USBE is working with local districts, public charter and private schools to determine which sites and students meet the criteria for P-EBT benefits due to limited access to school meals,” said Kathleen Britton, USBE director of Child Nutrition Programs.

P-EBT is a federal food assistance program created by Congress as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Information is available at jobs.utah.gov/pebt.

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