Eligible families still have time to apply for P-EBT
School district and anti-hunger organizations are racing against the clock to help families apply for and receive Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that they would not extend or reauthorize several school nutrition waivers and programs set to expire on Sept. 30, including P-EBT. This important program provides an average benefit of $5.70 per meal for families with school-aged children who would have received free or reduced-price lunches during the previous school year for the months of March, April and May.
More than 390,000 Colorado children were eligible to receive healthy meals through this program, yet only a third of families had applied and received the one-time $279 benefit at the beginning of August. The Colorado Department of Human Services encourages families who may have become eligible due to job loss, and families who were not enrolled in SNAP to apply for the benefit.
Since March, 47 percent of all Colorado adults reported someone in their household losing some amount of employment income according to data from the Census Pulse Survey. This means that children who were not receiving free and reduced-price lunches during the school year may have recently become eligible to receive benefits through this program.
Families are struggling to meet their basic needs and are working hard to survive the impacts of the pandemic. We know that school meals provide an important source of nutrition for kids, and we must do everything we can to support working families to ensure kids have access to food in an ever-changing remote school environment. In addition to enrolling eligible families in P-EBT and giving them access to the benefit, we must advocate for the extension and the reauthorization of critical school nutrition waivers and programs that have supported kids and working families.
Take action now by directing families who may be eligible for P-EBT to the application here. Ask Congress and Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to extend important waivers and programs for this school year.
Use the sample tweets below:
- @SecretarySonny & @USDANutrition: Hungry kids can’t wait. Please heed bipartisan calls & use existing authority to extend waivers to ensure access to meals this school year. #DoRightFeedKids
- Rates of #foodinsecurity are rising as key meal waivers are set to expire. @SecretarySonny & @USDANutrition: #DoRightFeedKids and extend these flexibilities for this school year.